Ray Farmer feels like the #TextGate fall guy

Getty Images

Browns G.M. Ray Farmer has been revealed as the previously-unknown personnel executive who sent text messages to the coaching staff during games regarding play calls.

A league source has told PFT that the messages actually went to a non-coaching employee on the sidelines, who then relayed the information to a member of the coaching staff.

And while the messages may have been actually sent by Farmer (or at a minimum with his phone), the real question is whether Farmer did it on his own or whether he did so with the knowledge or at the direction of folks above him in the organization.  Such as, for example, the owner of the team.

The best evidence as to whether Farmer is simply the fall guy could come from whether his employment continues once the decision on discipline is announced.  If owner Jimmy Haslam doesn’t fire Farmer for his role in #TextGate (especially after Farmer drafted Johnny Manziel at a time when the Browns knew or should have known that Manziel was a ticking time bomb), some (such as me) will suspect that Haslam is displaying loyalty to the guy who absorbed the #TextGate bullet.

Or maybe Farmer isn’t the fall guy.  Maybe he was acting entirely alone.  Maybe, just maybe, a key employee of Haslam’s billion-dollar business would deliberately and blatantly violate the rules under Haslam’s nose without Haslam knowing anything about it.

This time around, it apparently would cost far less than a $92 million fine to get the powers-that-be to accept that story.

51 responses to “Ray Farmer feels like the #TextGate fall guy

  1. If people are gonna string this guy up for something, it should be for drafting Johnny Foosball even with red flags all over the place. This whole textgate thing is only a misdemeanor offense compared to that.

  2. Didn’t guys learn your lesson with the bogus Deflategate nonsense. Stop with the “NFL sources” BS. You guys have zero credibility.

  3. I hope people speak with their dollars and reject the recent ticket price increase. This entire organization is just ridiculous.

    Something has got to change… soon.

  4. You have to feel for Browns fans at this point.

    First Josh Gordon, Manziel, Cameron is going to walk…this starts from the top.

    We feel for your pain, Cleveland. – Rest of NFL fans.

  5. The sad reality is that nobody is ever going to know the truth about what actually went down. It seems to me that Haslam is very clever in hiring guys that can be easily manipulated. The difference between Haslam and Jerry Jones is that “Jerrah” sometimes makes intelligent football moves…..sometimes…

  6. Haslam is 100% involved and will let an employee take the fall, just like at Flying J.

    Farmer sits with Haslam at most games.

    The business side has been involved with pushing Johnny to play–to drive up his jersey sales.

    They had the stupidity to text the Def. Coordinator, Jim O’Neill, Pettine’s protegee, complaining about the defense.

    Jimmy is the root of this mess.

  7. Farmer is a JOKE!! Gilbert. Traded UP for Manziel… gave Shanahan Thigpen?? Ben Tate? No WRs!?!

    Bernie was right about this FO.

  8. The whole Browns’ organization appears to big very uneven. No wonder they’ve fared poorly in the draft and with some free agent signings.
    I feel bad for Browns’ fans cause they don’t deserve this. First the original Browns sneak off to Baltimore then this “team” is assembled. Boy o Boy!

  9. Wonder how many times that Haslam can play the “I didn’t know card” before his village finally finds him and returns him there.

  10. Shanahan had a list of 32 complaints and most likely they pertained to incompetent and stubborn Farmer.
    Shanahan went to Atlanta where the rookie HC was given the 53 roster over the vet GM. Haslam gave the 53 to Farmer over the HC in Cleveland and now there is a total mess and Farmer needs to be fired.

  11. If Jerry Jones had inherited his money, never won a super bowl, had been a part owner of the rival Redskins before buying the team, and didn’t have a son to pull the Manziel draft card out of his doddering old mans hand on draft day…then he’d be Haslem.

  12. Farmer knows enough to know he should not of done that under any circumstances.

    If he doesn’t get the boot then you have your answer as to who was behind it.

  13. Dez Bryant had problems I’m sure florio would have passed on him too. And Lawrence Taylor, etc. you can dig dirt up
    On anybody and then play Monday morning qb

  14. if you’re saying the 2ndand 3rd rounds were golden, then what does that say about 1st round ?

    if thats what you’re saying about 1st round, then the Browns need to get out of 1st round picks and get more 2nd 3 rd round picks….

    really.. just fire Farmer….

    (and you hire a ‘Joker” and a novice OC ?)

    as Bruce Springsteen sings… ahhhh… not good

  15. Farmer is just Haslam’s minion. There isn’t a person in Cleveland that doesn’t believe, based on all reporting, that Haslam hand picked Manziel with that first round pick.

    Everything that Haslam has done so far is to increase the revenue stream. Sold naming rights almost immediately; dumped a long-time world renowned sponsor for more money; built new scoreboards that provide 14 more advertising platforms; commissioned new uniforms and then drafted Manziel to sell those uniforms.

    What did the fans get? a 25-30% rise in season ticket prices.

  16. In big business low man takes the fall, haven’t you figured that out yet. And it’s highly possible that Haslam told Farmer to draft Manziel.

  17. A leader takes responsibility for events even if it wasn’t necessarily his fault. Following the Super Bowl debacle, guess who threw others under the bus and who took responsibility. Bevell blamed Lockette while Carroll and Wilson each took responsibility. The latter two are respected while Bevell is a chump.

  18. The title states that Farmer feels like the fall guy, but nothing in the post substantiates anything other than the author’s feelings that Farmer is the fall guy, which is a point well taken. When lack of integrity, poor character, dishonesty, and complete and absolute disregard for rules, law, and order establish a culture, it might take more than a 92 million dollar bath to come clean up.

  19. The LAST game I ever went to see the real Browns was a season ending victory game (26-10) against the Bengals. I walked out of the facility uncontested with a 6′ long bleacher bench board that now sits in my 3 season’s room. I’ll let you figure out what year that was.

  20. We as Cleveland Fans need to take a long look in the mirror, my self included about how we help contribute to the disfunction of this organization. Look at Tom Brady, throwing picks- Their fans don’t care. He gets the MVP. Are you kidding me? If Brady was drafted by Cleveland, he would have been ran out of town and selling cars at a used car dealership. I regret being so critical of Hoyer at the end of the season. He was absolutely spectacular in the first part of the season and atrocious at the end of the season. We should give this guy another chance and stop being typical Browns doomsday fans. We really bring this on ourselves. Josh Gordon caused half of Hoyers interceptions anyway by running wrong routes. I’m glad Gordon is finished now.


  21. Can we please stop using “gate” to identify every freakin issue in the league?? Who really cares if he or anyone else was texting? They’re allowed to take pics of every play and everything else. What’s wrong with texting? Even if he was saying something informative, who cares? It’s the browns.. Let them..

  22. This has to be the second stupidest thing I have seen in the last week or so. The first being the 2nd down call for the Seahawks but enough of that.

    They have coaches in the skyboxes with cameras and radios sending messages to the coaches on the sidelines and it is a big friggin’ deal that the GM or owner sends a text to the sideline. UFB. You gotta be kidding me that this is a punishable offence.

  23. Browns fans deserve better. But shame on those who turned their backs on Hoyer for Johnny Popsicle.
    Love the fans who are ‘Stop buying tickets… show them we are not happy.’ That never works except to get a team moved (again).

  24. Try and place the blame on someone giving him the ok? This isn’t a military organization, it’s more than appropriate to point out that what you are doing (or being asked to do) is illegal under the NFL rules. There is no grey area here. Farmer is culpable, the coach(es) is also guilty, and all of them should be held accountable. If Haslam had a part in it he should also pay the price. You cheat, you get caught, there are consequences.

  25. They are glad that Ray turn down Miami offer to interview for the GM job, as they say ” be careful what you wish for ” Bill

  26. 2015 3-13
    2016 5-11
    2017 4-12
    2018 1-15

    dosent matter who is where, who drafted who, this team, front office, the ground the pratice field aka first energy stadium is built on will never change, it has been the same since 1990 with no hope in site……i just wish they would move and never come back again so i can end this misery for 16 weeks a year……

  27. Aren’t the same people clamoring for this guy’s job based on a text and a draft pick with an addictive personality, the same people who shake their head and judge the organization when there’s too much turnover? Chudzinski gets canned after a year and everyone is up in arms about how he didn’t have time to prove anything. Well, now the same situation is applied for Farmer. Just because your first pick hasn’t figured things out yet and your second pick partied too much from the bench doesn’t mean he’s worthless at his job. The same people complaining about him now were praising the hire last year. Give me a freakin break. Let’s give the guy a few drafts before we decide how good or bad of an eye for talent he has. And texting? Pffff. Yes it was stupid, but its not like he beat his family or got a DUI arrest couple with possession of various drugs. He sent a damn text!

  28. Now we know why Jimmy has decided to raise ticket prices…… He needs to get the front office staff unlimited texting

  29. I’m a Browns fan and am so embarrassed by this kind of crap. I for one think it came from the owner and not Ray. It’s depressing and it seems like it never stops…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.