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Browns avoid losing draft pick, Farmer suspended for 'textgate'

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Amid a flurry of controversies surrounding the NFL, from tampering with game balls to court-ordered lifting of suspensions, it finally appears that the most innocuous of them all has an end in sight.

In what has been inescapably donned "textgate" by media outlets, Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer violated league rules regarding electronic communication during live games, after having sent some sort of critique or complaint about ongoing offensive play calling via text message to the coaching staff on the sidelines.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, an announcement regarding the punishment for the Browns and Farmer is to come from the NFL by Tuesday. Schefter also reported that Cleveland is not expected to lose a draft pick over the violation, but Farmer is likely to be suspended for his lead role.

Lastly, Schefter added that the team could also face "hefty" fines.

This news comes on the heels of commissioner Roger Goodell saying last week during owners meetings that the Browns would likely face "severe" penalties as the league took the violations very "seriously."

With the commissioner's recent history considered, Cleveland could be lucky to have gotten a just punishment that appears to appropriately match the infraction, especially if the keep all of their draft picks in tact.

However, the details of Farmer's individual suspension remains to be seen. As the person admitting to have actually taken the action in this incident, the NFL could come down hard on him.


Mary Kay Cabot, Browns beat writer for the Plain Dealer, is reporting that the Browns will be fined $250,000 and Farmer will be suspended for four regular season games without pay. His suspension will lift immediately after the fourth game has ended.

Cabot broke the news first via Twitter: