Textgate: What Is a ‘Severe’ Punishment?


The Cleveland Browns are awaiting results from the Textgate investigation. According to Adam Schefter, the team was notified this week by the NFL that they could expect ‘severe’ punishment next week. His post makes it seem that the Browns have an idea what that punishment will be:

"Browns and Falcons officials were informed at this week’s owners meetings of the discipline that is expected to be…Posted by Adam Schefter on Wednesday, March 25, 2015"

That leads to the question: What is severe?

If we think about how most define the NFL Draft, that teams should expect to get starters out of the 1st four rounds of the draft, we would have to assume that the team would at least be losing a 4th rounder. The Browns currently have two 4th round picks, making their punishment seem less impactful if the NFL does strip a 4th. My guess is the Browns could be losing their 3rd.

Except that the idea of punishment being severe doesn’t just relate to draft pick consideration. While that is what fans will be most focused on, the NFL also will be punishing the team and Ray Farmer as well. The “severe” punishment could be some kind of draft consideration as well as big fines and suspensions. The team could be fined a certain amount while Farmer is personally fined as well as suspended for many game this season. An 8 game suspension would not be shocking.

Farmer’s day to day job, while not the big name impact as the off-season or the draft, is very important. During the season Farmer is changing over the bottom of the roster, having discussions about trades and scouting both the pro and college level. A suspension could have a big impact on these areas.

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Our prediction of a 3rd round pick is our worst case scenario, although the NFL has rarely made sense when dulling out punishment. Anything less than a 3rd we will celebrate, even though we never want to lose picks. Thankfully the Browns have 3 extra picks this year and could get a number of compensatory picks next year. The impact of a Farmer’s suspension could be just as severe for the team.

What do you think the Textgate punishment will be?

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