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Browns GM Ray Farmer apologizes for texts, addresses Johnny Manziel situation

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Ray Farmer discussed his role in texting coaches during regular season games in 2015, which is a violation of NFL rules, and also addressed the status of Johnny Manziel.

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer addressed his role in sending illegal text messages during games at his media availability at the 2015 NFL Combine on Thursday. Farmer, who has been under investigation for texting down to the playing field during games, apologized at length.

"I would like to extend an apology to the Cleveland Browns fans," Farmer said. "I know there's going to be a lot of questions, a lot of inquiry about texting or text gate or whatever the news term is. But so that everybody hears it from my mouth: it was me.

"To that degree, I have apologized to the people in the building: coach [Mike] Pettine, [owner] Jimmy Haslam, the rest of the coaching staff and everyone that was involved from our side ... I take full responsibility for myself and my actions and the things that I learned from that is that there is a platform to have those conversations and have those things talked about and discussed."

Farmer went on to say he has not heard anything in the way of punishment from the league, either for him or the Browns.

The second-year general manager said he understood his action broke NFL rules, saying his emotions got the best of him in the moment. Farmer stated he has mended his relationship with Pettine and looks forward to moving into a busy offseason. The Browns have a pair of first-round picks at 12th and 19th overall, along with a projected $51.7 million in cap space, per Over The Cap.

Haslem told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Farmer feels bad about his actions, but believes his general manager is a high-caliber individual.

"Ray Farmer knows and has (said to the Browns) he made a mistake in sending those texts,'' said Haslam. "Ray feels terrible about it. Ray's a guy who has utmost integrity. I think it is important for you all to know that Ray has the organization's and my full support and despite the fact that he made a mistake here it does not affect his standing with the Browns."

During his presser, Farmer also spoke about Johnny Manziel, who is currently in rehab to deal with a reported alcohol problem. Manziel is entering his second year with Cleveland after being drafted 22nd overall in 2014. Farmer said he understood the risks associated with Manziel at the time of his selection.

"I'm not a doctor so I would say whatever they uncover with Johnny is what they're working on. We understand what people would call red flags and we made that decision as the Browns organization. We knew what those were and good for him to step up and get the help."