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Humiliation: Browns say Farmer not interviewing second time

So let me get this straight ... The assistant general manager for the Cleveland Browns is informed he is a finalist for the general manager job with the Miami Dolphins and after getting through an initial interview that reportedly went well, he declines to take the second interview because he has doubts about the Dolphins' football structure?

Can this really be?

Is the Dolphins' reputation around the NFL so soiled that even people working for the Browns -- the Browns! -- don't want more money, more power, and a chance to run the Dolphins front office?

Somebody wake me, because this is a nightmare.

Let's retrace some footsteps because if this is, in fact, what's going on, we've already stepped in something foul.

Farmer interviewed for the Dolphins job January 11 and I reported the interview was very good. Obviously, it turns out, the interview did go well because a couple of days ago the Dolphins decided Farmer would be one of their finalists interviewing this weekend for a chance to become the successor to Jeff Ireland.

But a not-funny thing happened on the way to that prized finalist interview. Farmer began to have second thoughts. As I reported Thursday, Farmer started to waiver about whether or not he wanted to interview again with the Dolphins because he was feeling uncertain or uncomfortable with the Dolphins football structure.

Farmer talked to the Dolphins for at least five hours in that first interview. He came to that interview with the blessing of former boss Carl Peterson, who hired Farmer during his time with the Chiefs and is now the top advisor to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross on this GM search. And after answering a bunch of questions and presumably asking some of his own, Farmer was still not sure he either understood or liked the Miami structure?

That's not all.

Was Farmer's concern so profound that even when the Fritz Pollard Alliance strongly recommended he take the follow-up interview so he could get his clarification, Farmer still declined?

Well, that's apparently exactly what happened as on Thursday afternoon, Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner told a group of huddled reporters that Farmer was staying with the Browns rather than interview again with the Dolphins, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Quentin Tarrantino at the height of a drug-induced inspiration could not make this stuff up.

So I have questions that frankly make me wonder about both Farmer and the Dolphins.

1. To Farmer, if you were still uncertain or uncomfortable with the Dolphins structure at the end of that initial interview, why didn't you say so then? Did this discomfort or uncertainty suddenly dawn on you or did you find out new things about the Dolphins in the days following the interview?

2. To Farmer, you worked under Peterson for years. Obviously Peterson thinks very highly you. So if you were uncertain or uncomfortable about the Dolphins structure, couldn't you just call Peterson and ask for clarity? Why the big public unveiling of this issue that makes neither the Dolphins nor you look good?

3. To the Dolphins, is the phrase, "Do you have any questions for us? Are you completely comfortable with where we are right now?" foreign? After all, that kind of covers everything. If Farmer felt any degree of discomfort near the end of his interview, that phrase would have definitely opened the door to the airing of that discomfort.

4. To the Dolphins, how could you not know Farmer had issues with your structure?

5. To the Dolphins, did you interview a candidate and then anoint him a finalist without any clue he doesn't think highly of what you are proposing as the job structure?

6. To the Dolphins, aren't you starting to get a clue that something is seriously wrong with, well, you? Look, when one candidate declines to interview, that's understandable. When two candidates decide your interview offer is not for them, that's kind of worrisome but not terribly. But four candidates declined to take even initial interviews with you and a fifth man, who was open minded enough to take the initial interview, decided that familiarity with you was a reason to stay away in the future.

It's not them, my dear Dolphins franchise, it's you!

It's not the media with an agenda. It's not tough luck. It's not the competition conspiring against you. It is you!

Now, for the sake of full disclosure, Dolphins sources insist it is not them. (On a couple of counts, such as the initial and incorrect Jason Licht story about him being offered the job and this evening's CYA suggestion by one national reporter that Lake Dawson didn't become a finalist until after Farmer had second thoughts, it is indeed the media).

The message I get from the Dolphins is that every candidate is made aware he will be reporting directly to owner Stephen Ross. Every candidate is aware he will not be under either coach Joe Philbin or executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte. Every candidate is aware he also will definitely not be over Philbin and probably not Aponte as well. Both Aponte and Philbin will answer to Ross.

Aponte, I am told, has no secret sinister plans to take over as undercover GM.

So where is the misunderstanding?

Are the Dolphins not relaying that message clearly? Is there a communication disconnect? Is the team, through sources, saying one thing to me and then another to candidates? I don't know for sure. I'm not in the interviews.

(Maybe the Dolphins should embed me this weekend for their own well being -- like the military embeds war correspondents. It protects them.). 

All I know is this is not the first humiliation the Dolphins suffer lately. It's starting to get really, really old when the Dave Wannstedt disaster is the good old days.


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Who wants to be the next Jeff Ireland?...

Really? No takers?...


There was a time the rest of the NFL highly envied us. Today? They now highly PITY us.

Benz, no ones sitting around discussing us, we all know this. For anyone to sit around discussing us, we first have to be worthy of discussion.

Now? With each new report of disaster, the NFL nods their head in disgust, and quickly goes about it's merry way. That's what, the Miami Dolphins have now become.

Screw Mando and the rest of the league. This matters to Dolphin Fans, players, coaches, etc. Without the right people you can't succeed, any Business 101 Class will teach you this. If we can't even interview the best minds in the NFL what chance of success does that give us? Mando's job is to throw gas on the fire, but please don't deny or ignore the fact that their is a fire. Hiring a GM is very important. When is the last time we had a good one? And you wonder why we are irrelevant.

Posted by: benz | January 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM

These NFL execs have plenty of time to laugh at the Dolphins during the day, don't kid yourself


according to Armando....4 other candidates turned it down as well.....

point 6....

6. "To the Dolphins, aren't you starting to get a clue that something is seriously wrong with, well, you? Look, when one candidate declines to interview, that's understandable. When two candidates decide your interview offer is not for them, that's kind of worrisome but not terribly. But four candidates declined to take even initial interviews with you and a fifth man, who was open minded enough to take the initial interview, decided that familiarity with you was a reason to stay away in the future."

I am a realist also.....

Perhaps no GM candidate really WANTS to report to clueless Ross?!

Maybe that's the problem!

I do not predict the Dolphins to go 2-14, but a four or five win season could happen. Very easily.

I think you all think that other people are discussing this WAY more than they are, thats all.....seriously, check out a few of the well known sports or nfl oriented websites, right now....tell me where this issue is front and center....nothing on the front page of espn, or nfl.com---sorry, just dont buy that "league circles" are all that concerned or interested in this issue....


We typically disagree on everything. What are your thoughts on my adam schefter tweet I posted on this board?


as always good counter-point....

and yeah...the Browns do suck....but still....it speaks volumes....@ least to me....

U guys are ridiculous! Farmer was a Rooney rule interview. He never had a chance and left the 1st interview knowing so.

Gaines or Hickey. I like Gaines.

The Fish are the laughinstock of the league. Thanks Ross.

Posted by: benz | January 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Thank you Benz. Your fine thoughts have been duly noted and well preserved. Please move on.


I only disagree because I care :)....

Love the Schefter tweet (posted by you)...and would love for a PAT to come and clean this cesspool up.

7th consecutive losing year coming up...

Posted by: MassDolphan | January 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM

OK, so let me get this straight, your watching all socialist liberal networks and your claiming to have an unbiased point of view?? haha, that's rich. I am pretty sure you just made my point for me. When these "Networks" do put on opposing views they always gang up on them 3 to 1, 4 to 1 and constantly bash them. So your completely biased in your view point. That's why you watch what you do.

Manado says Ross is flying in tonight and will probably have dinner with one of the candidates. Can you hear the hostess now?? "Ross party of one"!!

Hiring Nick Cesario from the Pats is not the answer. Belicheat runs every aspect of the draft over there and to be honest, they haven't drafted well since Dimitrioff left for Atlanta. We will get what everyone else gets when we hire a Pats coach/player/front office person. Only Dimitriof has had success.

Pioli- KC fail
Cassell- fail
McDaniels - Denver fail
Charlie Weis - Fail
Romeo Crennel- Fail

The list goes on and on. These people succeed because of BB, period.

and would love for a PAT to come and clean this cesspool up.

Posted by: Kris (in Germany) | January 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I for damn sure hope he's bringing a young Tom Brady along with him....

lol @ 12:07

Of course I meant Mandio.

actually @ Sam I am....

it's not so funny....

He might bring a us Mallett....I think that would do....

To me the biggest mystery in the continuing debacle that is the Miami Dolphins is this. How did a clueless pug like Stephen Ross become a Billionaire?

The list goes on and on. These people succeed because of BB, period.

Posted by: perfect72 | January 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

For the most part, Bellichik succeeds because of Brady. He didn't have his Tom Brady in Cleveland. Enough said.

Also, for the most part Bellichik succeeds because of 3 OTHER things:

1. NY Jets
2. Miami Dolphins
3. Buffalo Bills

Humiliation? Because we can't hire some guy who won't take a job without checking with his masters at the Fritz Pollard Alliance? Who the heck wants a GM who is all about race? Sounds like the Fins lucked out. If this guy prefers the 4 wins that Cleveland managed over the Fins 8 wins, then he isn't someone we should be upset over not hiring.

Posted by: MassDolphan | January 24, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Thanks for your honesty. People need to open their eyes and see what's really going on before all our freedoms are gone. Democrats are always about raising taxes, and instead of revamping their failed social programs they just keep raising taxes and throwing more tax money at these failed social programs. I suggest you check out d.r.u.d.g.e. r.e.p.o.r.t online, lets see how much you really care about the truth

Dolfan Rick,

That's hilarious!

Sam I Am,

I love the beautiful gown you are wearing today. So elegant and timeless. Magnifique!

Posted by: Sam I Am | January 24, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Sam I believe that 100%. We are being split apart as a nation while the Gov't steals our future.

I doubt any free agents worth signing will want to come here with this mess in the front office/coaching staff. I know I would not. The players we have under contract must be cringing at this latest fiasco. Morale was bad at years end with the two lifeless performances against the Jets and Bills. Next year it will probably be worse.

Back to football. I bet Farmer just gave this whole thing a good, long think over the last few days and decided the Phins were not for him.
It's very concerning, as a 40+ year Phin fan, to see players (Manning), coaches (Harbaugh, Fisher), and now potential GMs constantly avoiding this team. Something is just not right in Phins Land.

Thank god, this guy helps the Clev Browns!! A bigger train wreck then Miami is. WTF would u even consider this clown at all? I bet he never gets a wiff of a GM slot again. Most GMs fail cause there is not great talent evaluators out there, 99% of time its luck when u pick, please. Dont be in a hurry Miami.

I can answer question #1 unambiguously. When you interview for an executive position and likely for any position you have one job and one job only - to be offered the job or at least to move to the second stage interview. The point of a job interview is to sell yourself so that the interviewing party WANTS to hire you. As part of that you do not antagonize them, you do not push on difficult issues, you do not make demands, instead you charm, shine and present yourself so that THEY CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT YOU ARE THE ONE THEY WANT TO HIRE. Once you have done that THEN in the subsequent interviews, when they are selling themselves to you, you ask the more difficult questions, make your demands and negotiate. The reason is really simple. It is really easy to eject a candidate on a first interview if they are problematic since you have no commitment to them. But after you have convinced yourself you want them it is much harder to eject them and you are more likely to give in during negotiations. This is EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWING 101. Been there, done that.

The media declared Ray Farmer the the likeliest candidate for our GM position just because he was once employed under Carl Peterson, but I doubt that it was ever true. I read that Dennis Hickey made a major impression on Stephen Ross during his interview & when Joe Philbin did the same thing in the head coach interview he overruled Jeff Ireland's hiring of Mike McCoy. Another words I think Dennis Hickey has been the front runner for the GM position ever since his interview NOT Ray Farmer. People are making entirely too much of this anyway, because Brian Gaine is a in house candidate & was ranked among the top 10 GM candidates anyway.

Anyone know a local high school looking for an offensive line coach?
I can email my resume asap!

Armando Salguero needs to take a chill pill & let this GM hiring & a season play out before putting a failure label on this thing. Hiring a new GM or new head coach IS ALWAYS a 50/50 proposition & NO ONE can dictate to whether Miami hired a good GM or not until we see the results of the 2014 season.

I think some are missing the point....

It has NOTHING to do with the FACT (so i agree) that the Browns are a bigger mess than us....

It has EVERYTHING to do with a guy coming from a bigger MESS than us would rather dance with the one that brought him.....rather than upgrade for the slightly prettier girl....

Nowhere does it say he turned down a JOB offer....he turned down a second interview.....

most likely the Browns are in his ear....and they want to keep continuity and stability....and Farmer played it to his advantage.....like any smart man would....

We are not only the most dysfunctional organization in the NFL, we are the worst anywhere. Just when things just could not get any worse, they did. And next year will be even worse. How can Ross, a successful business man, think that any credible GM would accept such position, which will be measured by the success of the team, and yet have minimum authority. Total embarrassment.

Armando Salguero ‏@ArmandoSalguero 11m
Dolphins have told every GM candidate he will report to owner. But 2 former candidates told me they weren't told who reports to them.

How could the Fins hire a GM yet? They haven't competed in the evening dress competition, the swimsuit competition, nor have answered the question, "What you like to change in the world if you could?"

Some of you Dolphins haters have your opinions way out of whack. A lot of you call this organization dysfunctional & claim that Miami will be lucky to win 6 games this year. Well you are ALL delusional! Even if Miami were to make a poor GM decision, they would still win at least 6 games. Although this team has no real game changing talent, there is still a good talent base on this team that will continue to finish around 500. What Miami needs to do is find game changing players & who's to say that Dennis Hickey or Brian Gaine can't accomplish that ? All we can do is let the 2014 season play out before determining if Miami hired a good GM or not.

It's no different than the Jonathon Martin "thing". The media just speculates while at the same time coming out and laying blame. Media blamed the Dolphins for "not knowing" and yet we never question the possibility that there was nothing to know. Same thing with this. If I'm interviewing for a job, that MY CAREER and I'm asking everything I can to give me all of the information to make the right decision. And this is a life changing opportunity, so its' baffling that Farmer didn't press and be clear about his questions. And yes, we knew coming into this that the Dolphins had a shaky situation with the possibility of the coach being canned next year and starting over again BUT WE KNEW THIS COMING IN. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

Benz...quit humiliating me on this blog! LOL.

Your post, "...humiliating each other..." still has me laughing.

Now back to the humiliation. Once the Fins management trio decides that Gaine will be the hire, Ross will stand at the podium for his statement, "Well, we sure did interview a lot of good people, but most turned down a once in a lifetime opportunity, I think. Brian, by default is our new GM-lite. He has been around the Fins organization for a good while and was considered as a candidate for the Jets (my real favorite team) GM position." Given his credentials and having the approval of Ms Aponte and Coach Philbin, Brian is here to stay!"

No longer Ireland's acorns,

No longer...,

I know of countless times this year where Philbin made excellent use of challenges and timeouts during critical situations. I also feel the way he weathered the storm with the media blitz during Bully-Gate were admirable to say the least and garnered a high level of respect from our owner. I also remember reading several posts about how the team looked up to Philbin (but that was during the winning streak towards the end). Is he perfect? No. But I listen to his responses when approaching the media, and I'm impressed with him. He can blot out distractions and press forward humbly-> unflappable. I believe in guys like that who weather the storm. It demonstrates courage and character.

As for being unaware of the Incognito/Martin issue (which I've read from other posters), NOBODY knew that Martin felt the way he felt. I don't see that as his responsibility.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Dolphins will interview Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio for their general manager vacancy Friday.
A new candidate enters the mix, as the Dolphins try to figure out exactly what they're doing. Cleveland's Ray Farmer and Arizona's -- now Tampa Bay's -- Jason Licht have already turned Miami down. Caserio, 38, has been in the Patriots organization since 2001, rising up the ranks from personnel assistant to his current position. He played football at John Carroll University with Josh McDaniels and London Fletcher. Caserio joins in-house assistant GM Brian Gaine and Tennessee's Lake Dawson as candidates for the Dolphins job.

revenge for Davone Bess.. ?!?!

Lets hope its not Ceaser Romero!

I can't take it any longer, im rooting for my original team from now on, now where is my adult diaper?

Don't be surprised if Miami offers total control to Nick Caserio if he accepts the job. If I were Stephen Ross, I would be drooling over a guy that's worked side by side with Bill Belichick for the last 12 years.

I'M not worried about it i know we willl get a good guy and u will see a major improvement in our football team this coming season all the receivers will be mo acclimated wit tanne and we will have a very good OL Defence will be even better than it was last year and we led the league with the least touch downs by any receiver in football and we saw the best

Mando you must be sooooo happy, because you have an axe to grind with this team for a while now, only because they do not give the access you want. Anyway, you of all people should know there is a lot more to this then your speculation suggest. This stuff happens. Just relax. Doesn't matter who the GM is, they are only as good as the QB they have.

This is what you get when you allow a bunch of Yankees to run a southern franchise!

I think the Feds should start looking into how Ross made his real estate billions because he clearly has no idea of how to conduct business legitimately. Why did he buy this football team if he wasn't willing to put in the time and effort to understand the business of the NFL? His coaching and now GM searches have been a humiliating comedy of errors. Ross may be the owner, but the legacy of the Dolphins franchise belongs to the City of Miami and Phins fans everywhere. From Day 1 with his orange carpets, hideous fight song and C-list celebrity "part owners" he has treated this club like a kindergarten plaything. And the new logo sucks too!

Welcome Nick Casario to the Ross, Barnum & Bailey 24/7 365 day Davie circus, please be fitted for your clown shoes and big red nose!

It will be Gaine by default.

If people thought the Gong show went off the air in the late 1970's just look at the Dolphins front office in 2014.It is clear that Stephen Ross the totally inept Dolphins Owner was playing games with the fans about changing the team structure with his long list of mediocre GM candidates.Ray Farmer pulled the gong out and gonged the Dolphins and it looks like Gaine will be the choice.Farmer decided to stay with Cleveland and their crooked owner Jimmy Haslem(see flying J scandal)instead of dealing with the three ring circus Ross-Aponte-Philbin in Miami tells how far the franchise has fallen.Armando I am like you are beginning to think the Wannstedt years (a playoff win,4 winning seasons out of 4 and a half and 2 playoff berths)as the glory years.

I find it interesting that so many people that have no inside knowledge rant and rave over an article written by a reporter with no disclosed inside knowledge about anything. It's just a reporter's speculation about the motives of a person the reporter doesn't know and has probably never met. Yet clowns on here take it as gospel and run with it. Just like when it was reported that Ross was out of the country when in fact he wasn't. Clowns on this site took the misleading information and bashed the team over it. But hey, why let FACTS get in the way of a good story. As long as Armondo can sell advertising for his paper.

Armando in your last paragraph "The message I get from the Dolphins is that every candidate is made aware he will be reporting directly to owner Stephen Ross."....
well Farmer said why GM, if I don't have any authority.
Mando I said this team need a Player evaluator. also he need to go to talk with HC. Philbin.
The big problem in this Organization is the Owner, he don't have personality. e is like Jerry Jones in Dallas.

Yeah Jerry Jones another wannabe talent genius, BM and coach who cannot get above 500 without Jimmy Johnson picking and coaching the players.
1 playoff win in 18 seasons, even the dolphins have more.
Yahoooooooooo Jerry Yahooooooooooo!
Extreme wealth does not equal NFL success.

Who would want to work for this clueless owner and ruin their career?

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