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Ray Farmer: Browns needed to be ready to handle Manziel’s celebrity


The G.M. who drafted Johnny Manziel says his team should have been ready for the unique challenges associated with bringing in a rookie who’s already a superstar.

Former Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said today on ESPN that an NFL team that’s going to draft a player who’s already famous even before he arrives needs to be ready to deal with the fallout from that, and he suggested that the Browns weren’t ready.

“The club has to be prepared to handle the player regardless of their celebrity, regardless of their position, regardless of what they’re required to do,” Farmer said. “The responsibility is born by both the club, and the player. When the club doesn’t follow up on its end, it makes it that much easier for players to get off track.”

Farmer said Manziel had celebrity status stemming from his days at Texas A&M, and the Browns hadn’t seen a rookie with that kind of fame.

“It’s celebrity. . . . This player had unique celebrity that I don’t think the league has seen,” he said. “That brings a whole new element of how you try to handle the person.”

Manziel is now out of the league and facing accusations of a litany of off-field issues, ranging from domestic violence to excessive drinking to trashing a house he rented.

“I’m concerned for the person more than I am the player,” Farmer said.

If the person doesn’t get help, he’s done being a player.

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29 Responses to “Ray Farmer: Browns needed to be ready to handle Manziel’s celebrity”
  1. cazspaz says: Jun 6, 2016 2:24 PM

    Seems to me they should have been more prepared for the challenges of his addictions.

  2. mrdot1 says: Jun 6, 2016 2:26 PM

    Even Manziel’s family can’t get through to him. The kid is a lost cause until he has his own moment of clarity. The Browns should have known better.

  3. sportzfan says: Jun 6, 2016 2:28 PM

    BS translator: “We didn’t realize that this spoiled brat was going to need his hand held and that we would need to kiss his golden tush to get him to stay sober and focused on the field.”

  4. trailerparkking says: Jun 6, 2016 2:28 PM

    The Browns are a dumpster fire, that goes without saying…but the reason Manziel failed isn’t their fault. There are only so many hours during the day, does Farmer think the should have hired a babysitter to keep Johnny’s nose clean?
    Give me a break! Manziel is a grown man, he made his choices and now he has to live with the consequences.

  5. mandings36 says: Jun 6, 2016 2:29 PM

    why is anyone interested in what Ray Farmer has to say?

  6. jag1959 says: Jun 6, 2016 2:30 PM

    Johnny’s 15 painful minutes feel like they may never end but Ray Farmers are definitely past.there expiration date.

  7. pastanow says: Jun 6, 2016 2:31 PM

    That’s backwards…Manziel needed to be an adult and a football player in that order. There is no “I” in team.

  8. Magyver says: Jun 6, 2016 2:39 PM

    The Browns were under no obligation to bow to Manziel’s celebrity status, or change his diapers, or warm up his baby bottle of Dom Perignon.

  9. craniator says: Jun 6, 2016 2:44 PM

    Farmhead is only trying to put a positive spin on the fact that he managed to blow two first round picks in one year.

  10. thetooloftools says: Jun 6, 2016 2:47 PM

    Ray Farmer was a horrible GM period. He had excuses for everything. He said he was happy with our “progress” when we were getting crushed.

  11. BenAnderson58 says: Jun 6, 2016 2:49 PM

    “It’s celebrity. . . . This player had unique celebrity that I don’t think the league has seen,” he said. “That brings a whole new element of how you try to handle the person.”

    Are you kidding me? Celebrity like the league has never seen? There are established pros who carry more fanfare and rookies who have carried more, namely every QB drafted 1st overall in the history of the league.

    Farmer is trying to reconcile the thirst for a winner that his fan base in Cleveland had with the unrealistic expectations those fans had for JFS to perform at a high level and also rationalize the mistake he made when drafting Manziel in the first place.

    He’s making excuses for himself and by extension making them for Johnny. What a joke. Manziel was a train wreck with an arm before he left college. There’s no avoiding facing that reality.

  12. chinahand11 says: Jun 6, 2016 2:50 PM

    Thank goodness I got my Johnny Football story early this week. Whew.

  13. celm52 says: Jun 6, 2016 2:50 PM

    If the player doesn’t get help, he’s done being a person.

  14. getyourownname says: Jun 6, 2016 2:56 PM

    “There is no “I” in team.”

    But there is an “ME.” Strangely, just like in Manziel.

  15. razo1958 says: Jun 6, 2016 3:00 PM

    It’s not the Browns fault. If the player doesn’t know what it means to be a professional, then they crash and burn. I’ve always said that Johnny 8-ball was Ryan Leaf 2.0

  16. mmmpierogi says: Jun 6, 2016 3:03 PM

    “If the person doesn’t get help, he’s done being a player.”

    Even if he does get help, does anyone really expect him to ever be a player at the NFL level again? That ship has sailed. Base case scenario — he cleans up, a team takes a chance on him, and he plays 2nd or 3rd string the rest of his career, which would probably last all of 2 or 3 years.

  17. kwf484 says: Jun 6, 2016 3:12 PM

    “…already a superstar…”

    lol…fanboy on staff

  18. jdbaker01 says: Jun 6, 2016 3:17 PM

    Probably better to just say “We made a mistake. We should never have drafted him.”

  19. iamkillerfin says: Jun 6, 2016 3:32 PM

    He’s a LOSER now & no team wants him!!! But the Browns should have never taken him to begin with!!!

  20. tremoluxman says: Jun 6, 2016 3:40 PM

    What a load. Blaming the team and excusing Manziel. So the team forced the privileged putz to party-hearty, abuse substances, and not learn the playbook?
    Get real.

  21. xinellum says: Jun 6, 2016 3:48 PM

    Farmer was the GM and responsible for making sure the team was ready when Manziel got there. Especially since he was the moron who drafted him. Nothing like Farmer coming out and offering advice to other GM’s when he got fired for not doing what it is he is telling other GM’s to do. When will these morons just shut up and worry about what they are doing instead of being a wealth of knowledge when they are running bankrupt in the intellect department.

  22. tootitan says: Jun 6, 2016 4:25 PM

    “It’s celebrity. . . . This player had unique celebrity that I don’t think the league has seen,”

    Ummm, Vince Young, Jamisn’t Winston et al?

  23. granadafan says: Jun 6, 2016 4:39 PM

    “trailerparkking says:
    Jun 6, 2016 2:28 PM

    The Browns are a dumpster fire, that goes without saying…but the reason Manziel failed isn’t their fault. There are only so many hours during the day, does Farmer think the should have hired a babysitter to keep Johnny’s nose clean?”

    I’m no fan of the Jerrah, but this is exactly what the Cowboys did with Dez Bryant. Now, he DID have some issues, but given what an absolute mess he and his family were, it could have been a lot lot worse. The handlers and bodyguards saved his the Cowboys’ butts a lot. It may or may not have worked with Manziel, but at least they could have had more damage control.

  24. senatorblutarsky says: Jun 6, 2016 4:44 PM

    Sounds like CYA all the way. When the fecal matter hits the cooling apparatus, deny culpability and point the finger at someone else.

  25. dws123 says: Jun 6, 2016 5:53 PM

    Like Johnny, Farmer didn’t want to put in the hard work that it takes to be successful. Ray didn’t interview the guys he drafted, he didn’t go to their pro days, and when his laziness translated to laziness on the field, he pointed the finger at his coaching staff and organization. It almost makes you feel bad for Pettine (almost).

  26. dontasemebro says: Jun 6, 2016 9:55 PM

    As several posters noted. Farmer is pointing the finger at himself for this supposed lack of dealing with a “superstar”. He was, after all, THE GENERAL MANAGER of the team that he now speaks trash of. Good luck finding another NFL job Ray, after you set this team back years with your management skills, or lack there of.

  27. imabeliever says: Jun 7, 2016 2:03 AM

    Farmer is a moron. What’s worse is that on top of being a moron, either an excuse or a flat out lie fall out of his mouth every time it opens.

    Translation: He needs to shut his pie hole before everyone else figures out his moronity.

  28. fanodawg says: Jun 7, 2016 1:46 PM

    What kind of mumbo jumbo is this? Seriously? Blame the team for Johnny’s actions?!? Maybe blame the parents. Maybe blame the people he chooses to hang out with. Maybe blame his college coach and professors. Or…wait for it….maybe Johnny should take responsibility for his own actions. Oh, what am I saying? That makes no sense…it is everyone else that is causing his issues. Sorry, got caught up in a moment of clarity.

  29. farfig says: Jun 7, 2016 9:38 PM

    I may sound cynical, but……..

    Farmer is not employed in the NFL (at least in any meaningful way) – this strikes me as a naked ploy by Farmer to get his name back into the NFL discussions for a job, any job.

    His resume doesn’t back up his mouth, and his trashing of a team he was in charge of guiding after the fact, I don’t think will help him secure any negotiations.

    Johnny destroyed Johnny – and Farmer too.

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