Who’s Got The Power in Cleveland?

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Photo creds: sports-kings.com

The New Year starts today at 4 pm EST. Yes the NFL’s New Year begins but the Browns seem to have same problems. Questions at Quarterback, which has been the same question of “Who is our QB?” since Bernie Kosar was released back in 1993. But there has been a new question arising from Berea, the city where the Cleveland Browns main facility is. The new question is ” Who’s in charge of the Browns?”, and its a valid question.

So who’s has the power? GM Ray Farmer might have the most power in Berea. He was hired by the Browns in 2013 as the Assistant GM under then-GM Michael Lombardi, after being the “director of player personnel” in Kansas City from 2005-2012. After one year as the Assistant GM, Farmer took over as GM when Lombardi was fired by Owner Jimmy Haslam.

Right away, Farmer was given the keys to the car, so to say. Farmer did a solid job during his first year, signing veteran free agents like Karlos Dansby, Donte Whitner, and Andrew Hawkins. Those players became leaders on team, not just in the locker room but on field too, statistically speaking. But problems arose during the Draft, mainly during the first round. Trading down from the fourth pick with the Bills might have been a huge mistake because of the Josh Gordon situation, due to the team not drafting at least one of Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, or Odell Beckham Jr. But since Farmer got another first round pick for this up-coming draft, 19th overall in the draft, judging Farmer for that trade seems a little premature.

Now the pick of Johnny Manziel is interesting to say the least. It has Haslam’s and CEO Alec Scheiner’s name all over it. Drafting Manziel is a big time publicity move, to make the team relevant as long as Manziel is on the team. Farmer might have been pressured into drafting Manziel could seem likely, but Farmer says he knew of Johnny’s red flags when scouting him.

Even though the Browns have denied Haslam or Scheiner causing the drafting of Johnny, Farmer taking the blame might give him leverage, which likely could have helped him save his job during the recent “Textgate” scandal. ( Note this is all speculation and none of this has been reported)

Looking at the draft now, in retrospect, Farmer seemed to have hit on every pick outside of the first round. Drafting players like Joe Bitonio and Terrence West, along with signing undrafted FA’s like Isaiah Crowell and Taylor Gabriel. Farmer seems to be a good talent evaluater, so, theoretically, he should have the power in Berea. But what happens when there is too much power? “Textgate” happens.

Farmer sending text messages to the sideline during games, which, first off, is a violation of the NFL’s rules. It is rumored that Farmer might be suspended for a few games and might lose a draft pick from this upcoming draft. Second, it was likely one of the many reasons former OC Kyle Shanahan wanted out so badly. Shanahan reportedly created a 32-slide PowerPoint stating the reasons he wanted out of Cleveland. And now Shanahan is in Atlanta and former QB Brian Hoyer is likely to sign with Houston.

So is there a power Struggle? No. It seems like Farmer is the one who is making the player personnel decisions. From drafting, signing free agents like Whitner and Dansby, to choosing QB Josh McCown over Brian Hoyer. In short, Mike Pettine coaches the players GM Ray Farmer picks them.

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