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Dolphins leading GM candidate: Ray Farmer

Whenever an NFL team begins a coach or general manager search the term "leading candidate" invariably gets thrown around by insiders and the media. And often times the "leading candidate" doesn't land the job because the interview process can change the dynamics.

But sometimes the leading candidate is really the only candidate. Consider Miami's hiring of Jimmy Johnson and even Tony Sparano as coaches years ago. Consider Washington's hiring of Jay Gruden on Thursday.

Saying that, consider the name multiple sources are now telling The Herald is the Dolphins leading candidate to take the Dolphins GM job: Cleveland Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer.

Remember the name.

Farmer has emerged as the search began Friday for two reasons:

He truly is a strong candidate with a strong background. Secondly, former Kansas City Chiefs President Carl Peterson has joined the Dolphins search and is Stephen Ross's chief advisor in the process. Peterson is a 30-year friend and confidant to Stephen Ross. And Peterson loves Farmer.

Morever, Peterson is supremely confident in his ability to identify and hire prospective NFL general managers.

Four current or former NFL team general managers built their resumes as members of the Chiefs' front office under Peterson: Atlanta's Tom Dimitroff, Tampa Bay's Mark Dominik, Miami's Jeff Ireland, and Seattle's John Schneider. They obviously did not all succeed but, as Bill Parcels said, talent evaluation is not an exact science. National Football Scouting President Jeff Foster also was a Chiefs scout under Peterson.

And Ray Farmer was hired by Peterson in Kansas City in 2006 and worked there until 2012 as the director of pro personnel. It is interesting (and impressive) that even though Farmer was a Peterson hire, he was retained by new general manager Scott Pioli when he took over in KC in 2008.

Browns CEO Joe Banner described Farmer as “one of the up-and-coming stars in the NFL,” last September.

Farmer, 39, has a sociology degree from Duke. He's a former fourth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. His career as an NFL linebacker ended after three years when he suffered a knee injury.

Farmer served as an academic coordinator and recruiter at Duke from 1998-2001, then was hired as a scout by the Atlanta Falcons before joining Peterson and the Chiefs. He joined the Browns in 2013 under general manager Mike Lombardi.

 "I’ll be surprised if Ray’s not a GM in the next few years, which will be good and bad news for us," Browns owner Jimmy Haslem said during the 2013 NFL owner's meetings, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.


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Rod Posted this link. I decided to cut and pase it here

The Browns are poised to make a mind-boggling gaffe even before they hire their next coach.

They're prepared to lose Assistant General Manager Ray Farmer and keep General Manager Mike Lombardi.

I'm flabbergasted by that possibility because it should be the other way around.

I can't believe the Browns would choose Lombardi over "one of the up-and-coming stars in the NFL," as Browns CEO Joe Banner described Farmer in September.

I can't believe owner Jimmy Haslam hasn't realized the folly of what he said at the NFL owners meeting in March. "I'll be surprised if Ray's not a GM in the next few years, which will be good and bad news for us," Haslam said, conceding that one day Farmer would work for an opponent.

That doesn't have to happen.

Haslam is in charge. After a disastrous 2013 draft, a supposedly bad coaching hire in Rob Chudzinski and a worthless trade for wide receiver Davone Bess, Haslam has every right to change who's making the football decisions in Berea. (The only things I see on the plus side of the Banner/Lombardi ledger is the Trent Richardson trade and the signing of quarterback Brian Hoyer, a no-brainer considering Lombardi's love for anything Patriot.)

Haslam could tell Banner he's running the day-to-day operations and overseeing stadium upgrades, but not picking the players. He could tell Lombardi to head back to the NFL Network. He could hand Farmer those 10 selections in the May draft, those two first-round picks to find a quarterback of the future and a reported $46 million in salary cap space and let him go to work.

I'd have much more faith in where the Browns are headed if Haslam and Farmer were leading them.

The chance Farmer could leave the Browns arose Wednesday when the Browns gave him permission to interview for the Miami Dolphins GM vacancy. A league source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the two teams had yet to comment, confirmed that for the Beacon Journal.

Farmer has all the credentials to be a GM. A linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles for three years, Farmer joined the Browns last season after spending 2006-12 with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was director of pro personnel. He worked four years as a scout for the Atlanta Falcons. A four-year letterman at Duke, Farmer served as the Blue Devils' football academic coordinator after ankle and knee injuries ended his career with the Eagles.

Farmer's mentor is former Browns guard John Wooten, now chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which advocates the hiring and promotion of minority candidates in the NFL.

Wooten said Farmer is ready for the next step. He called Farmer's talent evaluation skills "excellent" and lauded his people skills.

"That's why we put him in Cleveland last year," Wooten said in a telephone interview Thursday. "He'd done the college, he'd done the pro. We wanted him in a situation where he could learn the nuances of office administration, how you communicate with the league, all of that. We know that he's more than ready.

"He represents everything we want to see. We want the hard work, the dedication, the commitment, above all the ability to study and make yourself better all the time. He has all that. He's not a selfish person, he's not an I-I guy."

Per league rules, the Browns could not deny Farmer the chance to interview for a general manager position because it wasn't a lateral move. Although Banner approves all player transactions, the Browns gave Lombardi the GM title less than two months after he was hired so they could bring in Farmer last March.

Now Wooten wants Farmer "to have the opportunity to run his own show."

That doesn't mean Farmer's departure from Cleveland is a certainty. Wooten has issues with the Dolphins' organizational structure that might keep him from recommending Farmer take the job if offered.

"You've got to bring in more cohesive people in terms of the coaches working together with the personnel department and the front office and the ownership," Wooten said. "All of that has to be working together. There's a reason why certain teams win and certain teams don't win and it's not always because of the players they have on the field."

Wooten was speaking about the Dolphins, but he might as well have been talking about his old team.

If the Browns elevated Farmer, it would strike a chord on two fronts. It would be a bold move by Haslam to show that more than the coach was responsible for a 4-12 season. But it would also be lauded in a league where only six of 32 teams have black GMs.

Banner continually refers to the fact that he discovered coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia. This could be Banner's chance to find the next Ozzie Newsome.

There is no certainty Farmer will be as successful as the Ravens' Newsome, the Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and former Browns player who was named the league's first African-American general manager in 2002. Newsome is the man Farmer and his peers hope to follow.

But what if Farmer does possess some of Newsome's talents? Are the Browns prepared to let him walk while they stick with their poor structure and bad decision-makers?

As much as it disturbs me, I suspect they are.

Mike Sherman, Kubiak, Shanny Jr, McAdoo. Philbin might not have an Offense but he definitely has a type. This isn't "Sparano" going from Henning to Daboll. Which I liked Daboll. This is like dating the sister of the person you were just going out with. A couple things might be different in the head but the physical comparison is uncanny.

f4l, I do love little ironhead but my comment about their 3rd pick was relating to laast year's drafts.

But all in all, I wouldn't trade our roster for theirs.

It's going to take T-hill two more years of maturing anyways before he's ready, so I guess we have time while management tries to get it's song and dance together.


My friend, there is such a negative vibe around this franchise that NO ONE is going to pay to see this trash next year. The ONLY way this gets rejuvenated is if Ross sells.

And jarvis Jones sucks!!

...Wow...The Phins-Browns..Eskimo brothers

Sam I am

Knowing what I know about philbin is that he hates being challenged. Whether it's players or asst coaches or the GM. I just don't see him bringing in a guy with solid credentials or a track record.

I hope I'm wrong but look what philbin did to our captains he inherited.

Jake long gone
Karlos dansby gone.
Reggie bush gone

He got rid of all our vocal leaders. If I'm correct here. I don't believe any players wear the C now

DC, you're entitled to your opinion but do you know why jenkins was a 4th round pick? Ask Sam if you don't - it has nothing to do with physical limitations as far as what he can do on the field.

Taylor will prove you wrong.

These guys will play. Like you said, you don't watch college ball and they weren't given an adequate shot yet so try to defer your opinion a bit.

Posted by: Dolfan29 | January 10, 2014 at 01:22 PM


Again, DD my comparison is what they did do with teh picks they had - sure Gordon is a HR and def worth a 2nd rd pick - but I was trying to see what kind of inputFarmer had and the thing that scares me most is they took one guy in the thrid that showed awful athleticism in the testing process and considering he's a CB - that doesn't encourage me. Then he took two guys that weren't even on the radar of the top 200 picks according to CBS - who has a nice draft site. I did think their 7th round pick has considerable upside tho



Forgot the Browns had Lombardi as a GM. Hilarious.


Jarvis Jones sucks down Subway sandwiches . I am guessing BMT and Meatball, his belly doesnt suggest a low fat sub

Isn't it funny how different the perspective can be from another point of view? A few of you guys would benefit from occasionally escaping your "Dolphins Bubble" and seeing what people elsewhere have to say.

Rdubs, thanks for posting that.

Rdubs, as you can tell I am not a J Jones fan.


Does he do the Subway commercials in Canada or just the USA?

Ray Farmer is probably the best GM candidate in the NFL right now and possibly the best GM candidate in the history of the NFL. Getting him would be amazing!

Anyone remember how nervous we were when we thought Tampa Bay might hire Mike Sherman as their HC? Times they a changin'

Can we just admit that we are all dumb and have no idea what we are talking about?

hey dopes.....Farmer just joined the Browns, so has had no impact there to speak of....re: the "why hire a guy from the Browns comments--also, Banner has his detractors but was one of the main architects of the Eagles over the past 15+ years (along with Andy Reid, other staff, etc)--no rings for Philly but its hard to argue with their success over the past 10-15 years.....bunch of NFC Finals appearances, one SB appearance, perennial contender, good/solid team. Those dissing Banner dont know what they're talking about

I'm dumb and don't know what I'm talking about.

Dear Mr. Salguero

"Dolphins leading GM candidate: Ray Farmer"

Is this man a M.I.L.F. ? No this man is not a M.I.L.F.

Is Dawn Aponte a M.I.L.F. Yes Dawn Aponte is a Miami Intellectual lover of football

Is this hungry like a cougar ? No this man is no cougar

Is Dawn Aponte hungry like a cougar ? Yes Dawn Aponte is a cougar.

Natural selection at work

Soiled :)

DC, you're entitled to your opinion but do you know why jenkins was a 4th round pick? Ask Sam if you don't - it has nothing to do with physical limitations as far as what he can do on the field.

Taylor will prove you wrong.

These guys will play. Like you said, you don't watch college ball and they weren't given an adequate shot yet so try to defer your opinion a bit.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 10, 2014 at 01:37 PM

Jenkins could have been 1st-2nd rd talent had he MANAGED TO STAY HEALTHY.

He could not manage this for even one complete season in 4 seasons at U of F.

MIT, I was totally miffed at Jamar Taylor's rookie season performance. When I looked at is college highlights reels, the guy looked like Vonte Davis with a brain.

Now, all of a sudden, he can not cover molasses. I certainly hope this changes in 2014. If I remember correctly, Patrick Surtain did not look like a world beater his rookie season either. He did not become a full time starter until at least his 2nd season as a Dolphin.

Mark, it really doesn't matter to me where guys were drafted. There are elite players from all rounds. I look at position and quality. As you've noticed, we can't win many games with a lot of decent players. You win with a handful of elite players at impact positions and then decent players around them.

And I also don't look to what a player's potential is, I look at their body of actual work. Doesn't mean I write them off, just means I don't give them NFL credit for what they did in college. Many college stars became nothing in the NFL. So until a player shows me something in the League, I don't qualify them as successful. Take Odrick, wsan't a fan. But he developed and showed he had playmaking talent. Now I am a fan. Let's hope we get a few players from this Draft class to rise to that level.

Dear Mr. Salguero

NFL diversity

I want a M.I.L.F./Cougar as a GM

Soiled :)

Hmmm....anything to do with the browns does not convince me.
Why not gamble, or at leat the arizona cardinal guy there teams were Actually relevent this season

Rdubs, those commercials air up here too. most of my friends are like, who's that guy that shows up after RG3?

You win with a handful of elite players at impact positions and then decent players around them.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | January 10, 2014 at 02:17 PM

Couldn't have been better said. I agree 100%!

I have only seen 3 RBs ever do this, Hurdle one guy and run over another guy while you are still in the air. Jim Brown, Ricky, and E.Lacy.

Posted by: Dashi | January 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM

There's a lot of Jerome Betis in there too - arguably most nimble feet for a man of his size. In fact, Lacy seems like a cross between Ricky and Bettis. Regardless, I love Lacy. Had him on all of my fantasy teams this yr - usually drafted him deep - and needless to say he was a big part of winning most of them. If he holds up, he will tear up the NFL in teh next few years on that offence

Sam, Taylor unfortunately missed all of camp because some idiot doctor misdiagnosed him before and he was never able to catch up. My expectation is that this summer we should hear about him as one of these guys coming on strong. if not - then it's unlikely he will ever do anything and I will just have to admit that I was wrong about him - just like I've been wrong about a bunch of things in life.

What is it with guys from Toronto and unable to type the word the, haha .. most often it comes off teh on my keyboard too...

Dear Mr. Salguero

If not Dawn M.I.L.F./Cougar Aponte for GM how about Goldie Hawn for GM ?

She did a pretty good job with some inner-city high school kids I think they made a movie about it called Wildcats.


Soiled :)

Hmmm....anything to do with the browns does not convince me.
Why not gamble, or at leat the arizona cardinal guy there teams were Actually relevent this season

Posted by: Emperor of Reason | January 10, 2014 at 02:19 PM

These guys have ABSOLUTE ZERO to do with draft selecting of players. Actual drafting has much to do with what player and team needs are with their teams below and above you.

It's deterring away from your own team need when that player is there that gets gm's in trouble. Even when doing everything right, like it's said, "talent evaluation is not an exact science.

No gm, no matter his track record, has a cant miss magic wand. Ireland got himself in trouble with these strange draft day trade ups, trade downs, that added to the natural margin of error to a process that isn't an exact science to begin with.


How much hush money did Ross pay to Johnathan Martin? Did the NFL instruct the Dolphins to hire a minority GM?


The negative vibe went out the window with the Ireland firing. The fans are rejuvenated with hope for much better drafts.

Last time I checked Clevland had a large group of high performing youngsters who were preforming at a high level on D anyway. I'd rather have a Clevland guy then a Jets/Pats reject. Think outside the division for true loyalty and vision. Nice to see some of you normally cranky bloggers posting some positive things! Keep spirits high it can't get much worse. Haters need to marinate not hate.

Sam, Taylor unfortunately missed all of camp because some idiot doctor misdiagnosed him before and he was never able to catch up. My expectation is that this summer we should hear about him as one of these guys coming on strong. if not - then it's unlikely he will ever do anything and I will just have to admit that I was wrong about him - just like I've been wrong about a bunch of things in life.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 10, 2014 at 02:22 PM

I know there's much ado about Patterson being injury prone and his current salary. But, as much as I root for Jamar Taylor, I would not dump Patterson before end of camp or Taylor's having a simply outstanding camp.

Cutting Patterson before camp begins would be a HUGE gamble we really don't have to roll the dice on far too quickly. We all know Grimes has the other cb spot on lockdown. He's a Dolphin next year even if we have to franchise him.

It would be nice to have a GM who drafts someone in the 3rd round that actually makes a contribution to this team.The Dolphins are the only team the last 2 years that have had no production in the 3rd round.They don't even see the field. Jimmy Graham was a 3rd round pick. The Dolphins drafted Michael Egnew enough said.

I agree with Shula....geez, many here wanted Ireland gone several years ago....now he's gone, along with Sherman, and many here are still ringing their hands--no certainties here....but Ross has done what many of you asked for

I just love how fans and media make the weirdest assumptions.

Philbin doesn't like to work with a strong personality. PHILBIN WORKED WITH SHERMAN. You want a stronger personality than that? Kubiak is cupcake compared to Shermanator.

The Fins want a Puppet GM. Rosa and Peterson come out saying that the GM will have Autonomous (Sole) responsibility of the Roster.

Joe Philbin is a weak minded man the reason he has failed.

CA, and others....again, Farmer was just hired the Browns so has no stamp on that team....whether you consider good or bad doesnt matter, but the Browns connection is not much of a connection--dude just got there...

MIT, what I would really like to see is that, some how some way, we can get some real "ball hawking" safety play. I believe this is crucial if Coyle is still here and is still playing a zone coverage pass defense.

I understand the make your opponent work their way down the field concept. But, to be truly successful in this approach, I believe it's mandatory to have ball hawking safety who get critical turnovers.

Ala, Jake Scott/Dick Anderson. They really made the "bend, don't break" defense work to perfection.

robert.....uh, then you dont even want to look at our recent 2nd rd picks....

jake scott/dick anderson?--geez sam, they played 40 years ago.....FORTY years ago! yeah, i get the reference but geez, can you bring it into the past decade or two?....even non-Dolphins would be ok

Joe Philbin had Ireland drafting.... the reason both he AND Sparano failed.

Dear Mr. Salguero

If Mr. Ross doesn't consider the Following as a GM candidate then he lacks the vision I thought this he had

1 M.I.L.F.

2 Cougar

3 Goldie Hawn

Soiled :)

Patterson will be cut and his contract will be given to N.Carroll.

Grimes should be franchised or given a 2-3 year deal.

The way the NFL has become you need at least 4 legit CBs on your roster.

Plus, this gives the young guys to develop at their own pace. If they develop fast they can replace Carroll.

I believe Coyle is one of the main people responsible for the Fins underperforming. Definitely responsible for the Defense underperforming. But one thing he does know is secondary. He proved that by replacing Smith and V.Davis(M.Nolan players) for guys that can cover and catch INTs in one season. And in Cindy he coached the secondary to the most INTs in the last decade.

Now what we need to do is hire a front 7 coach.

Sam agree @ 2:36. No point in cutting Patterson without knowing ur in good hands

robert, uhhh, Olivier Vernon was top five in the NFL in sacks as a 3rd round pick from last year...


I don't believe Coyle is a good DC. But he can spot secondary talent. I wouldn't mind the new GM asking him for advice on a FS that can create turnovers. Even if he were to get fired next year.

Now if we answer our 3 biggest needs in FA then I am all for drafting a FS early, as long as he is the BPA on the board.

Sam @ 2:43 there will be a fine ball hawking safety on the market this year in jarius Byrd. How hard do you push and where do you put him on the must sign ladder?

personally, I think he's behind Albert and ben Tate as far as outside free agents...

Soiled.....any reference to Goldie Hawn must mean you're at least 70

Okay, so the front office is getting a face lift.

What happens if we go 7-9 or worse next season? What happens if that continues for another 2 or 3 years?

Quite frankly, we need to already be thinking about that.

Dashi, the only thing I would give Carroll is a kick in teh arse out of town. I know what the numbers say but I'm sick of that stupid look he has on his face when he has no idea where the ball is or where the receiver is and a 50 yard pass is made on him. We saw it in Buffalo and at home to the Jets to Thad Lewis and Geno Smith ... fukkk Nolan Carroll...

I'd offer him vet min money if he wants it.

Dawn Aponte reminds me of that Cameron Diaz character in the movie Any Given Sunday.

Except she is fugly.

I'm in my 30s and I'd give it to Goldie Hawn.

if the Fins dont make the playoffs next year, or post at least 9-10 wins, Philbin will be gone.....and I cannot believe that the new GM wont have some, or alot, of say in who the new HC should be--he will, simply because of his position....again, it (Philbin/Aponte/GM) will take care of itself....just hope we pick a good GM


Brock Marion, closer to this millennium and played with the Fins.

Some people watch but forget that Football existed past the 70s.

People were always bigger and faster when you are little so people hold onto that sentiment.

Please be more specific, who is more fugly, Aponte or Diaz? I'd poke Aponte before Diaz. Diaz behind all the Hollywood magic is 3rd rate.

The Mask was a long, long time ago.

A reference right down Soiled's Alley...

Wildcats, great reference, those Big Cheerleaders with their chants still get me howling.

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