The NFL is expected to conclude its investigation into a sideline text-messaging incident involving the Browns either this week or early next week, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, who reports that the team are facing potential sanctions for the rule violation. Per Cabot, Browns GM Ray Farmer may be suspended, and the team could also be fined and even lose a 2015 draft pick for its actions.
Nearly a month ago, it was reported that a high-ranking official for the Browns texted the sidelines from the press box about playcalls during a game. Multiple sources have since told Cabot that it was Farmer who violated the NFL’s electronic use policy by texting the sideline, where his messages were apparently relayed to coaches. Per Cabot, the league is expected to announce sanctions for the Browns as soon as this week, and no later than three weeks or so from now — Farmer is facing a suspension of three or four games if it’s confirmed he violated the policy, and Cleveland may also be penalized a draft pick, though it’s not clear how high a pick it would be.
As we wait to see how the league rules on the situation, here are a few more Browns-related notes:
- In a piece examining the situation in Cleveland, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com writes that the culture in the Browns building is “toxic.” Many of those who can leave – like former OC Kyle Shanahan – are eager to do so as soon as possible, according to La Canfora, who reports that, at season’s end, Shanahan presented head coach Mike Pettine with a 32-point breakdown explaining why he wanted out of his contract, which prompted the two sides to draw up an agreement to allow him to walk away.
- Multiple team sources tell La Canfora that Farmer is “a path of least resistance” for owner Jimmy Haslam on personnel decisions. La Canfora also hears that it wasn’t unusual for Farmer to text and/or call ex-QBs coach Dowell Loggains during game days. There has been growing friction between Farmer and Pettine as well, writes the CBSSports.com scribe.
- One team source, to La Canfora, on Haslam: “Jimmy is way too hands on. He’s like Jerry Jones, only without the football knowledge. There’s tension between [team president] Alec [Scheiner] and Pettine. Everybody sees that. Alec is involved in everything; it’s too much for him. There are no divisions. The guys on the business side want to run football operations. The GM wants to coach the team and have input on play calling. Jimmy calls the shots, and everyone is afraid of him with that quick trigger finger. If you stand up to Jimmy, he’s done with you. Jimmy’s own worst enemy is Jimmy.”
- Tight end Jordan Cameron isn’t interested in re-signing with the Browns, sources tell La Canfora, who adds that the club isn’t interested in bringing in Mark Sanchez as a veteran QB option.
- Calling the Browns a “raging dumpster fire,” Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com writes that Farmer must face the music and answer several questions about his decisions and his actions.