Jordan Cameron and the Importance of Narrative


Yesterday afternoon, evening a very interesting scenario played out regarding Jordan Cameron. While this writer was out to dinner with wife and friends, Cameron reportedly signed with the Cleveland Browns. Then, still while at dinner, he all of a sudden was not coming back to Cleveland and instead signing with the Miami Dolphins.

How all of that happened is vital to understanding the entire situation and the importance of narrative.

This last tweet is vitally important. As we understand it, basically Cameron’s agent used some Browns reporters, what Grossi was alluding to in his tweet, to get the Dolphins to up their offer. Many noted that the Dolphins ended up with a deal exactly the same as the one originally “announced” by the media between Cameron and the Browns. Not a coincidence.  Deadspin did a great article looking at the situation:

"It’s pretty clear what went down, and it’s not that the reporters who had him going to Cleveland were wrong—they merely got used. Cameron surely agreed to terms with the Browns, but before signing a contract, someone leaked the terms to three top NFL reporters, simultaneously (note that all three tweeted out identical info within a four-minute span). It’s hard to imagine that “someone” being anyone other than Cameron’s agent."

"Cameron was in Miami all day yesterday, negotiating with the Dolphins, and as the Herald reports, he was there after the news of him agreeing with Cleveland broke. The leak of the terms of his Browns deal served as an ultimatum: Here’s the best offer we’ve got right now. Can you top it? The Dolphins apparently did."

Here is where we step in to address the narrative piece of the puzzle. If you fall in line with the #100YearWar, the Browns are terrible, everyone hates the Browns, this team is dysfunctional camp then you think this is just another example. Nothing that can be said he can convince you otherwise. Except that the Browns never announced the signing and, according to a number of reports, the team never believed they had a deal done for their former tight end:

So many today, and last night, were adding this on the narrative of poor choices that the Browns have made. Another blunder. Except it had nothing to do with the Browns and everything to do with a smart agent, leaking information so as to drive a hard bargain. The terms that Cameron signed for may have been in line with the Browns offer but just a leverage move by the agent to get him what he wanted.

Obviously it is not a great look for the Browns but they were used for two very simple reasons: 1) Cameron was a Browns free agent and they had interest in him returning and 2) The Browns have cap space. If Cameron was a Raiders or Jaguars free agent the same situation would likely play out. Cameron’s agent is smart.

Depending on how you see things this morning likely depends on what narrative you buy into. For us, we buy into the fact that Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine want to see their draft picks develop, won’t overpay for players and have a plan that they will follow. Not unlike Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Both have gotten their share of ridicule but both are standing their ground and following their plan. We can ask nothing more.

The narrative that does need to change for the Browns is change itself. We would love to see the Browns with a winning record this year, making the playoffs and looking like a highly competitive team. We also recognize that the QB situation is dismal, with no upgrades available for this upcoming season, so the odds of having a great season are minimal.

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Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine should be given a full 4 years to see their plan through. Anything less would be a mistake. The only constant in Cleveland Browns football has been change, hopefully we can try something different. The process is vital, the outcome this season isn’t as important as building a base on the plans of Farmer and Pettine.

Or you can believe the other negative narrative and read into everything, including the Cameron situation, as an indictment on the team. Your choice.

What do you think about what happened last night with Jordan Cameron?

Next: Making Sense of Browns Free Agency: Day One (Stop Complaining)