Earlier this month, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com suggested that it’s not realistic to expect Browns general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine to both return to Cleveland next year. According to Rapoport’s report, the deteriorating relationship between the coaching staff and the front office made it “unfathomable” that the Browns would want to have Farmer and Pettine continue working together in 2016.
Today, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) explores that same line of thinking. Citing sources within the Browns organization, Cole reports that Farmer’s seat appears hotter than Pettine’s, with the head coach considered the more likely candidate to keep his job. Cole’s sources indicate that Farmer’s draft selections and roster decisions are more to blame for Cleveland’s struggles this season than the job Pettine has done with the talent – or lack thereof – he has been given.
While Cole doesn’t go so far as to say that the Browns will fire Farmer in January, it sounds like that’s a realistic possibility. If owner Jimmy Haslam does decide to replace Farmer, Cole expects Chris Ballard (Chiefs), George Paton (Vikings), and Duke Tobin (Bengals) to receive consideration for the job, since those executives are viewed by the NFL as some of the top general manager candidates around the league.
With one week until the NFL’s Black Monday, I’d imagine there are several scenarios still in play in Cleveland, but it sounds like any outcome that involves both Pettine and Farmer staying in their current roles is extremely unlikely.