The Cleveland Browns haven’t had their fair share of luck in the NFL and it seems year in and year out there’s plenty of excitement for a team that is picking in the top ten of every NFL Draft.
With a new owner and new front office, things are said to be looking up, and each member of the team has high hopes for the future. The Browns have a defense that could be elite, as well as some explosive pieces on offense such as Josh Gordon. But they also have some guys that probably wouldn’t be on the roster of any of the other 31 teams in the league.
With a slew of draft picks and a projected $38 Million in cap space, Browns fans are hoping for better results in 2014. They need a quarterback and a running back to pair with the explosive Gordon, along with a few other pieces, but GM Mike Lombardi is adamant that they’ll get things straightened out.
Assistant GM Ray Farmer is optimistic as well, saying that the Browns are on the verge of redefining the history books, and that is part of the reason he declined the Dolphins GM gig.
Farmer told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that he passed on the opportunity in Miami because Cleveland is on the edge of greatness.
“I think Cleveland is primed and I think we’re in a position to redefine the history books,” Farmer told Cabot. “I think change is on the horizon and I didn’t want to miss what’s going to happen in Cleveland.”
Being the man in charge is still a dream for Farmer, but he wasn’t ready to leave what the future has in store for Cleveland quite yet.
“I didn’t finish the process,” said Farmer. “I assume they would’ve given me the job. That’s the way it was articulated to me. If I took the job, I would’ve reported directly to (Dolphins owner) Stephen Ross and it was a tremendous opportunity. It still is a dream of mine to become a general manager and run my own program and put together my own team, but it wasn’t the right time for me.
“I knew what I had here. I know what I think is going to happen here, and I know what we have in place. So to that degree, the known is better than the unknown.” Said Farmer.
Farmers decision was backed by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization dedicated to helping minority candidates find jobs with NFL teams’ coaching staffs and front offices. Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance John Wooten, a former Browns offensive lineman, helped the Dolphins pin Farmer as the guy for the job. Farmer eventually pulled his name from the search and Wooten says they fully support his decision.
“Ray is extremely ready to be a GM in the NFL,” said Wooten. “But he feels good about what’s going in Cleveland, and we’re happy that Ray is going to be there to help the Browns get back to being one of the premier teams in the NFL. We would’ve loved to see him become the GM of the Dolphins and he would’ve been tremendous, but Ray is a man of character and integrity, and he loves what they’re doing there. We respect and support the decision.”
The Browns have some work to do, but they’ve shown plenty of promise so far. They’ll have a new coaching staff yet again, but plenty of pieces and funds to work with going forward.