The Cleveland Browns decimated their front office Tuesday and placed the reins of the team firmly in the hands of Ray Farmer, who is set to be announced as the team's new general manager. In a statement released Tuesday, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was very complimentary of his assistant general manager.
"First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we're fortunate to have in Ray Farmer," Haslam said. "Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he's compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office."
Farmer, 39, now has the task of leading the Browns to success, which has evaded them for most of the last two decades. In an interview with Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Farmer said that the team is close to being competitive once again.
"I think Cleveland is primed and I think we're in a position to redefine the history books,'' Farmer told cleveland.com. "I think change is on the horizon and I didn't want to miss what's going to happen in Cleveland.''
A fourth-round selection in the 1998 NFL Draft, Farmer played three seasons at linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles before his playing career was cut short due to a knee injury. Shortly after, he joined the Atlanta Falcons as a scout, where he worked for four seasons before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006.
Farmer was the director of pro personnel for the Chiefs for seven seasons before joining the Browns as assistant general manager in 2013. He had an opportunity to become the general manager of the Miami Dolphins after this past season, but told Cabot that he passed on the chance.
"I didn't finish the process,'' said Farmer. "I assume they would've given me the job. That's the way it was articulated to me. If I took the job, I would've reported directly to (Dolphins owner) Stephen Ross and it was a tremendous opportunity. It still is a dream of mine to become a general manager and run my own program and put together my own team, but it wasn't the right time for me."
The Browns have two first-round selections in the 2014 NFL Draft after acquiring the 26th overall selection from the Indianapolis Colts in a trade that gave up running back Trent Richardson. The Browns are set to select fourth overall as well, after finishing 4-12 in 2013.