Earlier this week, there were some questions as to why Ray Farmer was down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, but Michael Lombardi was not. Don't get me wrong -- from the reputation that Farmer has, he probably is the better talent evaluator to have down there.
The concern was over the fact that Farmer, as the Browns' assistant general manager, appeared on the verge of being the next general manager of the Miami Dolphins. Granted, Farmer was working with scouts who would have stayed in Cleveland, but something doesn't seem right about your "main guy" being able to suddenly take his observations to another team. Fortunately, we won't have to worry about Farmer leaving any more. Shortly after the Browns announced the hiring of Mike Pettine on Thursday, the news broke that Farmer actually turned down a second interview with the Dolphins, choosing to stay with Cleveland instead.
All things considered, the past few days have been a public relations victory for the Browns -- so much to the point where you actually have to wonder if the timing of things like the interview with Greg Schiano and Farmer being retained shortly after hiring Pettine -- was a stroke of PR genius. Also, the fact that Farmer, a well-respected guy around the league, stayed with a front office being labeled as "dysfunctional" rather than jettisoning out of here as soon as he could, has to help matters.
Or, maybe the Dolphins are just a tad more dysfunctional than the Browns. According to the Dolphins, Farmer was reluctant to join a staff where there were still many unknowns, according to the Miami Herald:
John Wooten, who heads an organization committed to promoting minority coaching and general manager candidates, explained Farmer’s reluctance to participate in a second interview.
"He has reservations about the structure of the Dolphins," Wooten said. "He’s not certain who would be running things, whether it would be him or someone else. I told him the only way you can find out is to take the second interview and get the answer." Farmer ultimately rejected Wooten’s advice.
It's hard to quantify the actual impact that Farmer has on the Browns, but if he can help to be a voice of reason in the draft room come May, that is most certainly a bonus, and it's good that Jimmy Haslam seems to hold him in high regard.
"It’s a compliment to our organization that another organization wants to hire him to kind of go from the No. 2 position to the No. 1 position," Haslam said. "I’m really excited Ray’s standing. He’s smart, he’s focused, he’ll play a key role in this draft and in free agency."