Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is famous for his draft-day trades, but on Wednesday, he recounted one that he's probably happy didn't go through.
At a pre-draft news conference, Newsome recounted his side of this week's revelation that the Ravens attempted to trade up in the 2007 NFL Draft for Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.
Quinn joined NFL.com’s “Path to the Draft” team to recount his draft day seven years ago. Quinn, a four-year starter at Notre Dame who was seen as a franchise quarterback coming out of school in 2007, fell out of the top 10 and was sliding down the draft board.
As he waited, Quinn told NFL.com he was “on the phone with the Baltimore Ravens the entire time.
“I was talking to Ozzie Newsome...coach [Brian] Billick and coach [Rick] Neuheisel, because I hadn’t interviewed with them, hadn’t worked out for them or anything,” Quinn said.
"So, all of a sudden, with like a minute left, I get a call from a 216 area code, which happened to be Cleveland," Quinn said. "And it was the Browns calling to tell me they were trading up to the 22nd pick.”
Newsome corroborated that story Wednesday at a pre-draft press conference with the media. When Quinn began to fall, Newsome said he talked with Ravens leadership, Quinn, and Quinn’s agent to discuss him possibly coming to Baltimore.
“What happened is we were in the midst of making a trade, a trade with the team that ended up making the trade to Cleveland [of pick No. 22],” Newsome said. “Cleveland offered more than we did…so they ended up drafting Brady Quinn. We did not get him because what Dallas, Jerry [Jones] wanted in the trade…we did not feel like we should go up to that level.”
Cleveland ultimately traded its second round pick in 2007 and a first-round pick the following year for the right to draft Quinn. The Ravens traded their second-round pick in 2007, but went on to select guard Ben Grubbs with the 29th pick that year, and traded its first-round pick the following year to move up and draft franchise quarterback Joe Flacco.
It’s fair to say this one isn’t keeping Newsome up at night. The Ravens, as Newsome and the team’s leadership said Wednesday, value having multiple draft picks, but also value taking the best player available. Quinn was clearly that at No. 22, but the Ravens wouldn’t offer the package it would have required to get there.
Quinn went on to start nine games in three years with Cleveland, and spent time with Denver, Kansas City, the Jets, and St. Louis since. The Browns are about to draft their third quarterback since trading up for Quinn, and . Dallas used Cleveland’s second-round pick in 2007 to move back into the first round in a trade with Philadelphia, who used Cleveland’s pick to take Pro Bowl quarterback Kevin Kolb. Dallas took running back Felix Jones with Cleveland’s first-round pick in 2008.
The Ravens drafted Flacco the following year.