The pre-John Dorsey Cleveland Browns were found to be the second-worst prepared organization when it comes to dealing to with agents on contractual matters, according to a recent survey conducted by USA TODAY writers Jarrett Bell and Lindsay H. Jones.
Here are the criteria Bell and Jones used as they collected data over the last year or so:
A total of 25 agents responded to a series of questions, with some choosing to abstain to certain portions of the survey. But most did provide opinions when asked which teams were most prepared during free agency, which decision-makers commanded the most respect (and the least), and more.
Realize, the Browns’ ranking was based on 25 anonymous agents’ subjective assessments. The agents’ identities are unknown “due to the sensitivity of the questions,” so we don’t know whether the agents involved had been spurned by Sashi Brown and his administration, or whether they have legitimate gripes. We also don’t know which level the agents included have reached in that industry. Were they dealing with agents managing individual clients, or representing pools of players? How many teams did each agent deal with in order for their “second-worst” ranking to have any kind of significance?
While it’s not hard to imagine novice personnel manager Sashi Brown’s team being ill-prepared, especially after the presumably botched A.J. McCarron trade, it’s far from a foregone conclusion that Brown’s staff was the “second worst prepared” organization in the entire NFL. If an objective view was taken, the results very well might be the same, but the Browns just as easily could have finished somewhere near the middle, or closer to the top.
That said, the fact that the survey was conducted concerning a previous regime makes this nothing more than insight into previous management capabilities, a view which already varies substantially from person to person. And that’s probably not going to change due to the subjective nature of this study.
Were the Browns unprepared to negotiate under Brown, or were they simply difficult to deal with which spurned animosity towards them from agents? We’ll never know for sure.