Appearing before reporters in Cleveland today, Browns general manager Ray Farmer addressed a number of topics, including the status of quarterback Johnny Manziel, who has been the subject of a number of headlines related to his action on and off the field in recent weeks. According to Farmer, Manziel’s words don’t mean anything — it’s all about action, and the rookie has the opportunity to make changes. Farmer adds that he believes Manziel can develop into a solid NFL starter, and that patience is required (all Twitter links via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal).
Here’s more from Farmer, with all links heading to Ulrich’s Twitter account:
- The foundation in Cleveland isn’t perfect, but it’s heading in the right direction, according to Farmer.
- Asked about the possibility of releasing Manziel, Justin Gilbert, and Josh Gordon, the GM said he intends to discuss the possibility with the club’s coaches — if it happens, it won’t happen today.
- While Manziel will be given an opportunity to compete for the QB job in 2015, the team will try to bring in a signal-caller through free agency, trade, or the draft as well. Farmer didn’t rule out the possibility of using a first-round pick on a quarterback for the second consecutive season, which would be easier to stomach since the Browns had multiple first-rounders in 2014, and will again in 2015.
- Farmer acknowledged that Brian Hoyer has some leverage heading into free agency, and will have to make some decisions that will determine whether or not he returns to Cleveland.
- The jury’s still out on the quality of the Browns’ first draft under Farmer, according to the GM, who added that the team made a lot of changes to its processes following May’s draft.
- Farmer reiterated that owner Jimmy Haslam didn’t make the call to draft Manziel.
- Noting that he expects Gordon’s camp to contest his one-game suspension, Farmer said he’s not willing to call the embattled wideout a lost cause. According to Farmer, the Browns will try to help their players, and if those players don’t want the help, then the team will move on.
- In spite of Gordon’s uncertain future, Farmer says he doesn’t regret not drafting a wide receiver in May.