Jimmy Haslam: Players Buy In or Shipped Out


The Cleveland Browns roller coaster season culminated in a roller coaster day. Jimmy Haslam seems to be giving signs that stability and consistency with this team will continue. It seems Haslam is on the same page with GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine about “Playing like a Brown.”

Not only has Haslam made it clear that Farmer and Pettine will return but also that if players don’t fall in line and buy in they will no longer be in Cleveland:

"“I think is the ultimate team game and I think a player who can’t show up for meetings, can’t make practice, can’t make weight lifting, disrespects himself,” Haslam said Sunday in the locker room at M&T Bank Stadium. “But I think more importantly, and I think this is what these young guys miss — they disrespect the team, the coaches, the staff, the fans. There’s a lot of people in our organization whose livelihood depends on how well we do, and we’re not going to tolerate people who are irresponsible no matter what round they’re drafted in.“So these young guys, we’re going to give them a chance. They’re young kids. We’re going to work with them. Hopefully they’ll grow up, but if they can’t grow up and they can’t be responsible to their teammates and the coaches and our great fans, then they won’t be with the Cleveland Browns.”"

Those are huge, strong words that seem to mean a lot while not committing to anything in particular. Here are a few things we read into Haslam’s quotes:

  • Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert will be given another chance next year.
    • Unless they get a crazy good trade proposal.
  • Josh Gordon is likely to return, considering that he is a young player.
  • Haslam doesn’t put players or their talent over the team, the coaches or the staff.
  • Haslam won’t push certain players to play.
  • Farmer, Pettine and Haslam are all on the same page.
  • The Browns are likely to hold their players to a high standard.
  • Their likely are other players besides Gilbert, Gordon and Manziel that were late and/or impacted by attending the party.
  • Football passion and work ethic will become a higher value in the draft and free agency.
  • I’m personally very excited from everything I have seen and heard from the Haslam, Farmer, Pettine Trio.
    • That doesn’t mean much to many but for me I see so much about the changing culture in Cleveland that I haven’t seen in any regime in the past. I am all in with these three. Doesn’t mean they haven’t made mistakes (I wanted either Blake Bortles and a corner or Mike Evans and Teddy Bridgewater in the draft last year) and we will talk about their mistakes.

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Now that we know that Haslam, Farmer and Pettine are all on the same page we can start to look back at their first year together. Their short history should give us a good idea of what the future looks like.

  • Will they value wide receiver more than they seemed to last year?
  • Will they spend more in free agency?
  • Who will compete with Johnny Manziel at the quarterback position?
  • Will they be aggressive in the draft, either moving up or moving back again?
  • Will they cut bait with any of their recent decisions, like they did with Ben Tate, this off-season?
  • How will fans respond to some semblance of stability?

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