Ray Farmer, general manager of the Cleveland Browns, has been suspended by the NFL without pay for the first four games of next season for sending texts to the sideline during many games in the 2014 season. In addition, the Browns were fined $250,000, but did not forfeit any draft picks unlike the Atlanta Falcons who were penalized by the league earlier in the day for a different matter.
Farmer has admitted to texting a person on the Browns’ sideline which is a direct violation of the NFL’s electronic devices policy. Reports state that Farmer texted issues related to quarterback play and would second-guess play calls and how the team was making use of personnel especially the quarterback position.
Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam is in complete support of Famer and had this to say about the league’s decision.
“We accept the league’s ruling. Ray made a mistake and takes full responsibility for his role in violating the policy. It is critical that we make better decisions. Ray has tremendous integrity and I know has great remorse for what occurred. We are all committed to learning from this and making the Browns a stronger and better organization.”
A big part of me thinks Farmer is covering for Haslam. I think Haslam ordered Farmer to text the sideline during games to make sure the team was doing their best to include quarterback Johnnny Manziel in the lineup even if it wasn’t at quarterback. Haslam reminds me of how Jerry Jones used to be until he changed into this new person we hardly recognize. He wants his team to be successful and questions why players are not being utilized according to his vision.
While the league said it found no evidence that Haslam or other team executives knew about the texts, I find this hard to believe. If Farmer is texting to someone on the sideline and this message is to get to the coaches and off to the players in the huddle, then how did this information not get back to Haslam?
Something is rotten in the city of Cleveland!
And that’s…as I see it!
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Scott D. Mikulski