On Monday, the NFL announced that it would be suspending Browns General Manager Ray Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 season over “Textgate.”
The suspension was handed down after an NFL investigation found that Farmer had used his cell phone to text play calls to the Browns sideline during games “on multiple occasions” during the 2014 season.
Although Farmer won’t be allowed to be in contact with anyone in the Browns organization for the team’s first four games, he will still get to participate in the upcoming draft and preseason when general managers do a lot of their most important work.
In addition, the Browns will be fined $250,000 for the whole Textgate mess. On the bright side (if one exists in all of this for Cleveland), the team won’t lose a draft pick as some had previously speculated.
Sometimes, when you’re the Browns, you have to look for the tiniest of victories within the Factory of Sadness.
The full statement by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent can be read below, courtesy of Adam Schefter:
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.