Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report suggests that the firing of Ray Farmer is imminent, whereas Mike Pettine will be retained for at least another season. I, most notably, turned on Ray Farmer a few weeks ago when he tried to trade Joe Thomas.
That said, I’m still not convinced the right guy is going to be fired. Pettine’s hissy fits about not playing certain guys because he didn’t like them (Justin Gilbert and Dwayne Bowe, the near apocalypse it took to get Manziel a starting spot) don’t rub me the right way at all. When you are as talent starved as Cleveland, you play guys with talent, even if they pissed in your cornflakes or ran over your dog or whatever. If you want to bench them in favor of guys with approximately equal talent, okay, great, but the rotting carcass of Tramon Williams and special team superstar Johnson Bademosi do not have equal talent to Gilbert, for example.
I’m hoping that, if Farmer gets fired, the new GM will work more closely with Pettine and prevent any kind of power struggle. However, I’m not optimistic. I would almost prefer either nobody got fired or both guys got fired. Farmer and Pettine are toxic for different reasons, and there’s no way to know if their toxicity only exists when both are there or not.
If Farmer is the only guy fired this offseason, I will be very unhappy. Jim O’Neil has to go. I don’t know why his pass defenses worked in 2014 but not in 2015, but the front seven was about the same. Either Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard were secretly the greatest players in the NFL (Sheard has performed well for the Patriots, but nobody picked up Taylor after he was cut), or there’s something he tried to change to stop the run that has blown up in his face.
If Farmer is going to be fired, he has to be fired ASAP so the new guy can get to work on the draft.