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Haslam on Griffin: “Go get him”


Nearly two years ago, the Browns selected quarterback Johnny Manziel under circumstances suggesting that owner Jimmy Haslam was at a minimum involved and at most directed the move. Now, in the wake of the decision to sign quarterback Robert Griffin III, it’s clear that Haslam gave express approval to the move.

Go get him,” Haslam reportedly told his football brain trust, according to Jeff Darlington of NFL Media.

Plenty of owners have plenty of involvement in personnel decisions. They own the team; they have the right to approve and/or veto every move — especially the significant ones. Still, at a time when the perception lingers that Haslam is a little too involved in football decisions, yet another tale of Haslam being involved in a key decision cuts against the notion that things have truly changed.

In 2014, a tongue-in-cheek anecdote regarding a homeless man who told Haslam to “draft Manziel” had the unintended effect of demonstrating that the experts hired to make football decisions in Cleveland weren’t making them without the influence of a non-expert. This latest report will do little to erase the sense that the people entrusted to make the decisions aren’t being given the power to do so.

In fairness to the team, the “go get him” message shows that Haslam agreed with his football people. However, the fact that Haslam even gave the directive implies that he has the ability to veto the people who run the football operation, which means that no matter what adjustments have been made in an effort to enhance and improve the process of acquiring football players, the guy signing the checks still reserves the right to also determine to identity of the players to whom the checks will be issued.

With the passage of time, that could change. If coach Hue Jackson and executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown develop a track record of making sound personnel decisions, Haslam eventually won’t even need to give the green light on a player-by-player basis. The permission to keep doing what they’ve been doing will be implied.

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72 Responses to “Haslam on Griffin: “Go get him””
  1. dumbpollack says: Mar 24, 2016 9:24 PM

    We can’t judge this based on our past failures. In that line of thinking everything we do is wrong. This is a no lose deal. He can’t be worse than what he have as of today. Go get the best QB in the draft and let him learn behind RG3.

  2. burghboys6 says: Mar 24, 2016 9:27 PM

    And if there’s anything Jimmy Haslam knows, it’s quarterbacks!!

  3. nfl1818 says: Mar 24, 2016 9:33 PM

    Jerry 2.0. Won’t end well.

  4. segreganset says: Mar 24, 2016 9:35 PM

    Free Tom Brady.

  5. breadmeatcheese says: Mar 24, 2016 9:36 PM

    I agree owners have the right to be involved, and it does show that haslam is still involved, which indeed means things haven’t changed in that regard, at least. And at most it is still a sweaty donkey-fest. But it could change if Huge Action turns things around. I guess there are worse things than an owner trusting his staff, if the staff is competent.

  6. steelcurtainn says: Mar 24, 2016 9:42 PM

    Leave it to the ex-steeler haslam to continue to ruin the browns. Thanks Jimmy, Steeler nation salutes you.

  7. thefootballgodssay says: Mar 24, 2016 9:45 PM

    Haslam hasn’t watched much NFL games lately

  8. bigtimebrownie says: Mar 24, 2016 9:45 PM

    The relative merits and de-merits of RG3 aside, as a frustrated angry and disgusted Browns fan, I agree with the latter- he approved the move, didn’t instigate it.
    I’m ok with it, 3 is not the future, we’re in complete re-build, yet again. As long as he’s healthy (which should be about 8 games), the QB from the draft can sit. Plenty of cap space.
    I’m excited to go to the draft, and talk to every Redskins fan who got in my face after they gave away the store to get in front of us to draft him. I’ll just sat “thanks”

  9. elevandoo says: Mar 24, 2016 9:46 PM

    Wondering what the homeless person thinks about the rg3 signing.

  10. thejuddstir says: Mar 24, 2016 9:48 PM

    Jerrah of the East.

  11. Tuco_S says: Mar 24, 2016 9:49 PM

    actually, RGIII is exactly the qb this franchise needs to lead them to the number one overall pick in the 2017 nfl draft

  12. learysdisciples says: Mar 24, 2016 9:56 PM

    Jus like Django

  13. raiderapologist says: Mar 24, 2016 10:02 PM

    Mark Davis and his crazy haircut look smart compared to this guy. Good luck, Cleveland.

  14. blowfishes says: Mar 24, 2016 10:02 PM

    Not a Browns or Griffin fan, but I actually want to see this work. Considering the Browns were apparently close runners up to the Redskins in the original trade with the Rams, I would assume that they have done a sh!t load of work on him, and this could be the best move for him and the team.

  15. joetoronto says: Mar 24, 2016 10:08 PM

    Truly unbelievable

  16. stew48 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:10 PM

    A better guess:

    Hue, to Brown and Haslam: This kid showed all that is needed to help us now.

    Brown: The numbers to get him fit our plans.

    Haslam: Then, for gosh sakes go get him.

  17. BayAreaBrownsBacker says: Mar 24, 2016 10:26 PM

    Haslam approved the move. He didn’t initiate the move. And the homeless guy initiated the Manziel move. And Haslam approved the move.

  18. LuckyOz says: Mar 24, 2016 10:27 PM

    And this involvement is why the Browns continue to be the Browns no matter how high draft pick they get each year.

  19. BayAreaBrownsBacker says: Mar 24, 2016 10:28 PM

    And on that note, how ironic would it be if Manziel ended up being homeless.

  20. iseek11 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:30 PM

    The Cleveland Browns and “brain trust” have never been uttered or implied. Funny thought though.

  21. chargerdillon says: Mar 24, 2016 10:34 PM

    In that division he wont last the season

  22. kcchefs58 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:38 PM

    I hope he regains form. He has the tools, but he needs help from the offense and as it stands, the Browns don’t have much help for him right now.

  23. packsoldier says: Mar 24, 2016 10:39 PM

    Draft the best QB and let him learn behind RGIII? That makes no sense. RGIII needs a mentor of his own to learn from. Hell, Josh McCown makes more sense as a mentor than RGIII.

  24. jws5150 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:41 PM

    That’s ok. When RG3 fails…again, the Browns can simply sign Teddy Small Hands after he fails in Minnesota.

  25. heymister24 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:43 PM

    Haslam made the final call on drafting Manziel but he wanted peeps to think it was ray farmer.

  26. campcouch says: Mar 24, 2016 10:52 PM

    I remember the Browns trying to sell their souls to STL for the chance to take him. Fortunately the Rams preferred Washington’s soul. The trolling by St. Louis towards the Skins, the “vaunted” defense they were building…yet Washington has made the playoffs while the Rams have moved…again. And Cleveland has wound up with the guy they wanted(at reduced capacity and price). Strange world football is.

  27. bn2n2me says: Mar 24, 2016 10:52 PM

    And I hope all you lames will stand in line to Kiss his azz, when he proves this was the RIGHT decision and we’re back in the playoffs because of it. You Punks are clueless

  28. ariani1985 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:58 PM

    Go RG3 WIPES!

  29. heymister24 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:59 PM

    Standing by for another Joe Banner haslam is an idiot tweet.

  30. glenuendo says: Mar 24, 2016 11:06 PM

    As long as RGIII is no longer with the ‘skins, I don’t care what happens.

  31. babyjunkie says: Mar 24, 2016 11:10 PM

    Methinks he meant g 0-16 get ’em!

  32. jag1959 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:16 PM

    When giving a 2 year contract with $6.75M guaranteed, a base value of $15M and with performance incentives potentially taking it to $22 million, never mind giving it to someone with Griffin’s question marks, it behooves the front office to have the guy signing the checks give his blessing. I doubt many $10M decisions get made in most sports organizations without at least running the rationale behind them upstairs.

  33. stoolerz says: Mar 24, 2016 11:34 PM

    The only reason Haslam wanted Griffen was because he could sign him on the cheap, while putting more fans in the growing number of empty seats.

  34. DrSteveBrule says: Mar 24, 2016 11:51 PM

    Since the 2005 draft there have been 27 QB’s taken in the first round and the Browns had 3 of those picks. 14 of those 27 are starters for their current teams and 4 of those were taken in the last two drafts. You’d think that NFL teams operating at the highest level of the sport could do a lot better than 50% at the most important position.

    Maybe the Browns would be better off trading Joe Thomas for another first rounder and drafting 2 QB’s in the first round to compete with RG3?

  35. imaduffer says: Mar 25, 2016 12:22 AM

    People pay money to watch the Browns? Why?

  36. hrmlss says: Mar 25, 2016 12:26 AM

    For 3.75m the Browns give him a season. And also draft a QB this year.

  37. channer81 says: Mar 25, 2016 2:10 AM

    As a skins fan I hope Rg3 has success in Cle. what he did for DC in 2012 will never be forgotten, hell we many of us embrace Heath Shuler today. It didn’t work out in the end, whatever, its past. When he was winning his personality was infectious and great for the NFL…

    GL Rg3 and GL Cle..

  38. laffers says: Mar 25, 2016 2:38 AM

    You just have to laugh out loud. Only the Browns would guarantee 6.75 mil to a player with no other prospects in the league.

  39. therealraider says: Mar 25, 2016 2:45 AM

    Haslam on Griffin: “Go get him” .. As in .. Do your jobs cause I’m holding you accountable.

  40. cross300 says: Mar 25, 2016 3:11 AM

    To say that the Browns are the laughing stock of the league is like saying water is wet. What an embarrasment.

  41. uglydingo says: Mar 25, 2016 3:52 AM

    Jeopardy Question – Which billionaire NFL owner is also a certified cretin?

  42. TheBrownsareClowns says: Mar 25, 2016 4:50 AM

    Its clear Jimmy Gump is calling all the shots and just wants yes men lackeys to do whatever he says

  43. TheBrownsareClowns says: Mar 25, 2016 5:20 AM

    Another example of the scripted NFL, Player leaves one team and plays his old team the next year. We all know the NFL loves their story lines.

    This happens 90 percent of the time when a coach or player leaves 1 team, amazingly they face their old team the next yr

  44. defscottyb says: Mar 25, 2016 5:55 AM

    Why does everyone keep saying RG3 was a failure? In his rookie year he was the most dynamic qb in the NFL and the Skins won the NFC East for the 1st time since 1999. The only reason he regressed some was bc of fluke injuries. If he’s healthy he’s a top 3 QB. The Browns are lucky to get this guy.

  45. igornathanhiggers says: Mar 25, 2016 6:35 AM

    Google “RG3 open receivers”… take special notice of how many times the pass protection was solid and you’ll understand why Chris Cooley said his offensive line didn’t like him…

    Among the sea of examples, find the one against the Broncos in 2014. The one with Garcon streaking up the middle wide open for a TD and Morgan running the wheel route to Griffins right without a defender within 15 yards of him. Oh and Griffin has great GREAT protection…

    Please tell me who the hell he’s looking at and why this play was a sack instead of a TD(Garcon) or at least a 20yd gain(Morgan) if not more…

  46. chimpychimps says: Mar 25, 2016 6:47 AM

    Is this hue’s agent trying to shield his client if/when Griffin gets hurt or benched for poor performance before week 6?

    Griffin holds the ball too long- Cleveland has a poor oline- get ready for a lot of sacks and a lot of fumbles.

  47. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Mar 25, 2016 6:59 AM

    The only reason Haslem wanted Griffin was because he wanted ‘LogicalVoice’ to be a Browns fan… As punishment for being so delusional over the years!

  48. dukeearl says: Mar 25, 2016 7:32 AM

    dumbpollack says:
    Mar 24, 2016 9:24 PM
    We can’t judge this based on our past failures. In that line of thinking everything we do is wrong. This is a no lose deal. He can’t be worse than what he have as of today. Go get the best QB in the draft and let him learn behind RG3.

    Only one problem with that, RG3 would need to actually know how to play in order for a rookie to learn behind him.

    Unless they tell the rookie, “whatever he tells you, do the opposite.”

  49. jerrywalters says: Mar 25, 2016 7:37 AM

    Haslam needs to disappear. Go get him … kiss of death for any signee.

  50. baddegg says: Mar 25, 2016 7:55 AM

    Owner directing personnel to get RGIII…what could possibly go wrong?

  51. greenwhodat26 says: Mar 25, 2016 8:04 AM

    “These boys are gonna be my brain-trust!”

  52. jagmankane says: Mar 25, 2016 8:48 AM

    Snyder, Haslam, Jones, and the late Al Davis…

    Owners too involved with personnel decisions.
    Davis’ team is now doing better, post-mortem.
    Jones’ best teams Jimmy built.
    Cleveland has been a disaster since they gave them a franchise again.
    The Skins had a pretty good season last year, doing away with Snyder’s guy RGme…
    So I’m sure he’ll step in this season and find a way to make it really tough for Kirk and Jay.

  53. conormacleod says: Mar 25, 2016 8:59 AM

    If you think there’s any owner that gives his employees 100% control you’re only fooling yourself. Billionaires get rich because they do what they think is best.

  54. hoyerthedestroyer says: Mar 25, 2016 9:01 AM

    Was Darlington in the room when Haslem approved it??

    Anyone can make up anything at this point for people to believe.

  55. hippieway says: Mar 25, 2016 9:14 AM

    If I owned a team and my staff wanted to bring on one of the most polarizing QB’s in football after just dumping the other most polarizing QB in the game, I would definitely want to be the final word.

  56. keys2heat says: Mar 25, 2016 9:27 AM

    chargerdillon says:
    Mar 24, 2016 10:34 PM

    In that division he wont last the season

    Yeah, because it’s been proven scientifically and via studies that some divisions hit harder than others, right?

    Some people, unreal…….

  57. laxcoach37 says: Mar 25, 2016 9:41 AM

    I personally don’t see this as a terrible move. The Browns need to spend an early pick on Goff or Wentz and then give him a chance to move in slowly while they “sacrifice” RGIII and make no bones about it (pun intended), he is going to get physically beat up bad in this Division. The issue I have is that he did not come cheap! This is an above average 2 year with guaranteed money. So, as most stated… this won’t end well for RGIII, so this is more like a Retirement deal, but it just might help the Browns crawl out of the basement in a few years. Ya know, break a few bad eggs to make a decent omelette.

  58. hippieway says: Mar 25, 2016 9:41 AM

    Cleveland has had more off season losses than in season losses. Getting III makes their draft pick more interesting. A trade out of two would present more opportunities through out the draft to replace some of those losses. If the Browns continue to struggle at QB and fail to improve their draft position next year,they may find a better crop of prospects and will still have Griffin for one more year to take the young lad “under his wing”

  59. paulhoss1 says: Mar 25, 2016 9:41 AM

    I’m sure Mr. Haslam talked to Redskins owner Mr. Snyder who is considered of the best NFL talent evaluators.

  60. collectordude says: Mar 25, 2016 9:54 AM

    I predict 5-11 for the Browns.

  61. nyneal says: Mar 25, 2016 9:55 AM

    Haslam should be in jail. But of course, he’s a billionaire and they don’t put billionaires in jail very often. Especially billionaires who own an NFL football team.

  62. 1historian says: Mar 25, 2016 10:15 AM

    Time for a reminder that the shortest book in the world is the one written by Mr. Kraft of the Patriots.

    It’s called “How To Win In Pro Football”, and it consists of 3 paragraphs:

    1) Find the RIGHT GM

    2) Sign the checks

    3) Get out of the way and let him do his job.

  63. jpaq68 says: Mar 25, 2016 10:53 AM

    That homeless man that told Haslam to draft Manziel was actually Johnny Manziel himself sent from the future.

  64. Patskrieg says: Mar 25, 2016 12:36 PM

    They should ask the Colts where they get their banners made. “2016 No Longer Taking Advice From the Homeless” would look pretty sharp hanging from the rafters.

  65. eddiea25 says: Mar 25, 2016 12:55 PM

    As long as Jimmy Haslam owns the Browns they will continue to be inept. After Hue does his short term stay , who is the next one in line? A clown chorus line of management and coaches.

  66. phinfan says: Mar 25, 2016 1:06 PM

    Did he ask a street bum

  67. psubeerman21 says: Mar 25, 2016 1:41 PM

    Between him and dwayne bowe, this team is beyond a mess when it comes to signing free agents. They gave 7 million to a guy who had one good season, 3 horrible ones, and clearly can’t stay healthy. With an oline that gave up the second most sacks in the league last year, this has nothing but disaster written all over it.

  68. voileib says: Mar 25, 2016 2:14 PM

    Hue Jackson has proven before he can make offensive gold out of crap parts with Oakland. If Hue loves RG3 and wanted to sign him, I am certain the Browns have a plan to use him.

    Maybe their whole strategy has changed. Maybe the Browns won’t be looking to pick a QB now. Maybe they will trade the pick to help restock the team with a bunch of young talent, and worry about the long term QB later. Or maybe they think RG3 could be the long term answer. Maybe this is exactly the type of “Moneyball” kind of signings and moves that will become the norm with Cleveland, under this new front office.

  69. commiecensorshiponpft says: Mar 25, 2016 3:35 PM

    I heard they never even tested his running ability.

  70. rcali says: Mar 25, 2016 4:04 PM

    So Haslem used his one call from jail to direct a free agent signing?

  71. skinsdiehard says: Mar 26, 2016 3:44 AM

    defscottyb says:
    Mar 25, 2016 5:55 AM
    Why does everyone keep saying RG3 was a failure? In his rookie year he was the most dynamic qb in the NFL and the Skins won the NFC East for the 1st time since 1999. The only reason he regressed some was bc of fluke injuries. If he’s healthy he’s a top 3 QB. The Browns are lucky to get this guy.
    Wrong. He regressed because he asked to stop running so many read option plays (he and his dad requested). So Shanahan obliged and saw that RG3 was pitiful doing it in 2013. Gruden then saw that he was pitiful in doing it in 2014 with so many misreads and sacks taken. Gruden saw that Cousins learned the same offense better and faster than RG3. Rest is history.

  72. skinsdiehard says: Mar 26, 2016 3:48 AM

    It is a bit fast to give up on a QB but I think it was accelerated due to the durability problems. Not performing and being unhealthy forced the team’s hand to not move beyond his rookie contract. If he had performed a little better, they would have signed a 2nd contract with him despite the injuries.

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