Browns GM Ray Farmer has been suspended four games without pay for illegal gameday texting.
After an investigation, the NFL has deemed that Farmer acted as a lone gunman when he attempted to text playcalls to the sidelines during 2014 games. So they haven't lost a draft pick, but have been fined $250,000 and will have to go at it without Farmer for the first month of 2015. He won't even be allowed in the team facility, although that may be a good thing. In Farmer's first year as an NFL GM, he blew two first-round draft picks (Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert), chased talented OC Kyle Shanahan away and assembled bottom-barrel offensive talent.
So Ray Farmer messed up one lousy draft in 2014. The Browns stayed with their plan. Moving down just five spots, they picked up a 1st- and 4th-round pick from the Buffalo Bills in 2015. The Bills selected Clemson WR Sammy Watkins with the third pick in the first round. Cleveland chose CB Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State University with the eighth pick. The big splash came on Cleveland's second first round selection at number 22, QB Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M University. Just days after the draft, Browns' WR Josh Gordon was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2014 NFL season.
CB Justin Gilbert was suspended by the Cleveland Browns for the final game of the 2014 NFL season. An issue that was not discovered by the front office prior to the draft may have contributed to Gilbert's struggles on the field. His immaturity led to his one game team suspension. Gilbert had company sitting with Johnny Manziel in the locker room during the season finale that Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Ray Farmer was relatively quiet at last year's draft. It is entirely possible that Farmer had information that he had to withhold. League rules prevented him from leaking the Josh Gordon information to head coach Mike Pettine and the rest of the staff. With the additional first round pick available this year, Ray Farmer will make some noise before the NFL shuts off his phone the first four weeks of the season.
Trade - Tennessee Titans send 2015 number one pick(second overall) to the Cleveland Browns for 1st round picks number 12 and 19 in 2015 and a 2016 first round pick.
Trade - Dallas Cowboys send 2016 second round pick to the Cleveland Browns for QB Johnny Manziel
Trade - Philadelphia Eagles send QB Sam Bradford, 2015 1st round pick, 2015 second round pick, and 2016 third round pick to the Cleveland Browns for the 2015 1st round pick(second overall) and WR Josh Gordon. The Philadelphia Eagles will use the draft pick on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
In Draft Day, the fictitious team used for the movie is the Cleveland Browns. Actor Denis Leary consulted with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the script. One of the scenes concerns the team's playbook. To ensure that the prospective player does actually read the playbook, a $100 bill is placed in the back cover. "Belichick said it was a tactic he used when scouting quarterbacks." If Ray Farmer can get Johnny Manziel to turn in his playbook, he will recoup that "C" note.
i>Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .
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