I don't doubt that Ray Farmer belongs in the business of football, but after the resume of bad decisions he logged during his tenure as general manager of the Cleveland Browns, you would think that talking about those decisions would be a bad decision. Instead, he appeared on NFL Insiders on ESPN this afternoon. According to Adam Caplan of ESPN, he'll also be in studio on Tuesday.
"(Manziel) had unique celebrity that I don't think the league has seen in a lot of different players." - Ray Farmer pic.twitter.com/eigmPIAo25— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 6, 2016
The hot topic of conversation for Farmer was former Browns QB Johnny Manziel. It's been a busy couple of weeks for Manziel, and we've done our best to spare you of the headlines surrounding him. Speaking on Manziel, though, Farmer said, "this young man came in with a Rolling Stones magazine type of persona -- he had unique celebrity that I don't think the league has seen in a lot of different players."
According to Pro Football Talk, Farmer said the club has to be prepared to handle that type of celebrity before taking the player on. It's a bit of a catch-22, though -- if Manziel is such a unique figure, how can any club be prepared to handle him? And while I was ecstatic in real-time when the Browns traded back up to get Manziel, in hindsight, I'm sure one of the reasons his stock fell to where it did was the fact that teams didn't want to take on that sideshow. Cleveland reaped the benefits in the short-term from a marketing perspective on Manziel, but short of permanently handing him the starting job to make sure "football" was his biggest distraction in life, I don't know what else could've been done with him once he was already on the roster. And, if Manziel ever signs a contract with any team in the NFL after what has transpired the past several months, I'll be stunned.
When NFL teams look back, if a player even raises a similar flag to the Manziel persona in college, I think they'll look back at Cleveland's example -- and where Farmer ended up -- and opt to turn in the card for somebody else.