The Houston Texans interviewed former Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer on Saturday for their vacant general manager position.
The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and is something that Browns fans likely never thought they would read.
The #Texans, who fired GM Brian Gaine yesterday, are already doing interviews. Sources say they are interviewing former #Browns GM Ray Farmer for the vacant position today. Intriguing option.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 8, 2019
Farmer was Cleveland’s general manager for the 2014 and 2015 season, a two-year run marked by continued failures in the draft and a four-game suspension from the league for texting coaches during games.
During his time as general manager, Farmer drafted 18 players, only three of which remain on the Browns roster heading into training camp this year - left guard Joel Bitonio, linebacker Christian Kirksey and running back Duke Johnson. Only eight of those 18 are still on an NFL roster.
Farmer’s biggest misses came in the first round, especially in 2014 when the team selected cornerback Justin Gilbert instead of linebacker Khalil Mack and quarterback Johnny Manziel instead of literally any other available player.
He was marginally better in 2015 as the Browns selected nose tackle Danny Shelton, who was at least serviceable, but missed on offensive lineman Cam Erving.
Those draft mistakes may have been due, in part, to Farmer’s unwillingness to embrace the modern way of life in the NFL, according to an article earlier this year by Seth Wickersham at ESPN:
Farmer, though, wanted nothing to do with analytics. He had declined to join the group visits to other teams. In late rounds of the 2015 draft, if a player was rated with a green dot -- the highest rating -- by the analytics team, Farmer would pass on him out of spite, according to others in the room.
It was quite the run for Farmer in Cleveland, and the fact that another NFL team is willing to interview him is surprising.
It is good news for the Browns, however, because as long as the Texans and other teams in the league flounder about, general manager John Dorsey and head coach Freddie Kitchens can go about their business of creating the league’s next dynasty.