The NFL has announced that the Browns will be fined $250,000 for GM Ray Farmer for texting down to the sidelines in the middle of a game. Beyond that, Farmer will be suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season.
Statement by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent:
The use of a cell phone on multiple occasions during games in 2014 by Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer was a violation of NFL rules that prohibit certain uses of electronic devices during games. Based on these violations, the Browns have been fined $250,000 and Ray Farmer will be suspended without pay for the first four regular-season games of the 2015 season. The suspension will start on midnight of the Sunday preceding the Browns’ first regular-season game and will end immediately after the Browns’ fourth regular-season game. During the period of the suspension, Farmer cannot be involved in any club matters and is prohibited from being at the Browns’ offices, practice facility, or at Browns games.
There was no evidence in the NFL’s review that Browns ownership or any other team executives had knowledge of the prohibited conduct. Once the violation was discovered, Browns management implemented new processes to ensure future compliance.
We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation the Browns organization extended during our inquiry.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the NFL is expected to suspended Browns GM Ray Farmer for texting down to the sidelines in the middle of a game.
- However, Schefter adds that the Browns aren’t expected to be docked a draft pick for Farmer’s actions.
- Cleveland could still receive a “hefty” fine.
Schefter reported last week that the discipline for the Browns’ actions was expected to be “severe,” and could include the loss of a draft pick, but it sounds like Cleveland will keep all of their draft selections.
Farmer admitted publicly that he sent text messages down to the sideline during games that were forwarded to the team’s coaching staff.
A previous report has said that, depending on the outcome of this situation, Farmer’s job could be at risk.
We’ll have more updates regarding discipline for the Browns as the news is available.