Jimmy Haslam Not the Problem, Front Office Is According to One


The Cleveland Browns have been run through the ringer this off-season. It started with Johnny Manziel entering rehab, moving to Josh Gordon being suspended for a season and finishing up with the Jason La Canforna article that ripped the organization focusing on Jimmy Haslam.

At least according to one NFL Analyst the problem is not with Jimmy Haslam but with the football side, the Front Office:

A very interesting, and maybe concerning piece of information from Breer. The word evolve invokes the idea that Ray Farmer and the football side of the building is stuck in the past. That they need to catch up to what is going on now. If that is true than the Browns have a Front Office, who will be making decisions in free agency and the draft, that is not up to speed with today’s NFL.

However looking at the decisions made by the Front Office last year there is some proof that they actually know what they are doing. While they may have overdrafted Justin Gilbert most had him as a first round pick and he fits the style of corner that Mike Pettine wants. They also got an extra first round pick out of it. They took a shot on Johnny Manziel and so far it hasn’t panned out but he could end up being a good QB for the Browns. In free agency they swung and missed with Ben Tate. Those are the three moves that deserve questioning.

Everything after that was golden. Joel Bitonio was considered by most the best guard, not just rookie, in the league. Terrance West and Christian Kirksey both showed signs of being high level contributors as 3rd round picks. Even Pierre Desir, in his limited playing time during his “redshirt season,” showed promise. The Browns also got big contributions from undrafted Isaiah Crowell, Taylor Gabriel and K’Waun Williams.

In free agency the acquisitions of Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby transformed the defense, while Jim Leonhard was a great veteran addition as well. Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin brought consistency and professionalism to the wide receiver group and offense in general. Michael Bowie was even claimed injured last year in preparation for this year where he could be a huge find on the right side of the line.

Yet people are still attacking Farmer, and Pettine to some extent, about not getting a wide receiver and his first round picks. Most/all analysts agree that drafts should not be judged until after 3 years. So far, if you include Crowell, Gabriel and Williams, Farmer is sitting with a B-/C. Free agency can be judged much quicker. Farmer didn’t spend about $18 million in cap space, which will be rolled over, last year but still made some impact signings. We will give him a B.

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One of the reasons Farmer held on to money last year was thinking about possibly having to sign starters Brian Hoyer, Jordan Cameron, Jabaal Sheard, Buster Skrine and Tashaun Gipson this year. Based on performance and need, only Gipson is for sure going to get paid by the Browns. Hoyer, Sheard and Skrine could all return but didn’t have the kind of seasons that would command huge contracts, at least for the Browns. Cameron seems destined to go out west to be close to his family, his injury riddled season has dropped his value as well.

So Breer doesn’t think that Jimmy Haslam is the problem but that it is the Front Office. The short amount of time that Ray Farmer and Co. have been in charge tells a different story. (We are not ignoring the texting issue, that is just plain dumb and we all agree on that.)

It begs the question: Does there have to be someone to blame? Is that something we as Browns fans need? Are we just blood thirsty?

Do you think Jimmy Haslam or Ray Farmer is the problem? Or do you think there is a problem at all?