On Friday, the Cleveland Browns announced the hiring of Dr. Jamil Northcutt as their new director of player engagement. This comes about a month and a half after the Browns fired former tight end Aaron Shea from the role. At the time, the Browns had released a statement saying, "The organization is going to be moving in another direction with the player-engagement role." They were true to their word -- Shea played in the NFL for many years, but Northcutt never played football at that level.
General manager Ray Farmer released a statement on the hiring of Northcutt and what his role will entail:
"Jamil has no dearth of knowledge," Farmer said. "His role is to support our players, so he’s a very important hire. Not only does he bring experience in the field of NFL player engagement, he’s also going to be a very positive influence in our community. He’s the kind of person we want representing our organization. He’s an all-around Browns fit. The core of the man is excellence."
Northcutt has a previous working relationship with Farmer. From 2005-2008, Northcutt was the player development coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Per Browns.com, "in that role, he served as liaison between players and coaches, administrators and external resources. ... and managed the career-internship, continuing-education and financial-education programs for players."
Northcutt also released this statement upon being hired by the Browns:
"I’m truly excited about joining the Browns organization," Northcutt said. "I am very thankful to the Haslam Family, Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine for trusting me with this opportunity. I look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the organization. Most importantly, my desire is to have a positive impact on our players and help them reach their full potential on and off the field, and find their purpose in life."