Cleveland Browns Promote Ray Farmer to GM, Michael Lombardi and Joe Banner Out

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Updated: February 11, 2014

The offseason carousel of change has struck the Cleveland Browns organization again, as news broke Tuesday morning of major changes in the team’s front office. Rising star Ray Farmer has been promoted to general manager, while two of the three stooges—Michael Lombardi and Joe Banner—are reportedly out of the organization.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “Browns promoted Ray Farmer to GM, have let go of Michael Lombardi and are having Joe Banner transition out of organization in next 2 months.”

News has spread like wildfire from local media to social networks, as the laughing stock of the offseason has gotten that much worse. Vic Carucci, the Browns team insider, confirmed the news broken by Schefter, stating, “Ray Farmer promoted to GM, Joe Banner to step down as CEO. Michael Lombardi to leave the team. Press conf. at 11 a.m.” He later updated that press conference time to 11:30 a.m.

This move will likely be fully embraced by Browns fans, many of whom have been calling for the ousting of Lombardi and Banner since the team hired them before last season. Diehard fans immediately hated the hiring of Lombardi thanks to his track record with the team, while many questioned giving a businessmen like Banner control of football decisions.

Farmer being promoted to general manager makes a lot of sense at this time, especially considering many consider him a rising star in the scouting and personnel community and he was the only member of the team’s front office at the Senior Bowl this year. Add in the fact he turned down an opportunity to be the Miami Dolphins GM a few weeks ago, and it seems this move could have been in the works for weeks.

We will have more coverage on this news as it comes available, but let’s just say the winds of change have once again struck Berea. And who knows what kind of impact the latest move will have on the franchise from here.

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