Did Haslam Pressure Farmer to Change the Draft Card to Manziel?
There is a story making the rounds this morning that after the Browns’ made the trade to get up to number 22 with the second pick in the first round, General Manager Ray Farmer selected quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
As per Espn Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, a source told him that the card prepared to hand to Commissioner Roger Goodell at the
Oct 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam on the sidelines during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
podium for the official announcement originally had Teddy Bridgewater’s name on it. Then with 10 seconds to go, a new card replaced it with the name of Johnny Manziel, as a result of owner Jimmy Haslam’s order.
When contacting the Brown’s this is what they had to say about the report. “That is not true,” said Zak Gilbert, Browns spokesman. “I was in the draft room. That didn’t happen.”
When a text was sent to Haslam for comment it was deferred to Gilbert.
General Manager Ray Farmer has insisted to reporters that these rumors were just not the case. “I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that Jimmy Haslam at no point demanded, requested or tried to influence the process in any way. He definitely asked questions. He’ll definitely give his opinion of what he thinks and all of those things are fine, but at the end of the day he trusted the football staff to make the decisions that we thought were the right decisions for this football team.”
It was disclosed last week that the $100,000 analytics study commissioned by former Browns’ CEO Joe Banner had found Teddy Bridgewater, as the draft prospect with the most chance to succeed in the NFL.
We will probably never know if this story holds water, however, it brings to light some interesting scenarios.
Was Brown’s owner Jimmy Haslam in the draft room pulling the trump card on general manager Ray Farmer, in a very Jerry Jones-esque kind of way?
Or is this yet another fabricated story within the media to drum up a story where there isn’t one?
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