Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Report: Haslam let guests in Browns’ draft room to see him pick Manziel

Indianapolis Colts v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 07: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns talks with owner Jimmy Haslam prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 7, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Jimmy Haslam has fired a lot of people during his tenure as owner of the Browns. Some of those people are now dishing on the dysfunction in Cleveland.

In an explosive new story by Seth Wickersham of ESPN, multiple unnamed sources go off on the Browns, and specifically on Haslam, who continues to look inept six and a half years after buying the team.

We’ll have plenty to say about the story, but here’s one interesting detail: Haslam has, according to the report, angered the football people by inviting friends, family and corporate sponsors into the draft room, while the draft is going on. Specifically, the report says Haslam wanted to draft Johnny Manziel in 2014, and “the war room was packed with Haslam’s guests” to see it happen.

The report indicates that the football people liked Teddy Bridgewater, but that “something about Bridgewater’s handshake rubbed Haslam the wrong way.”

In fairness to Haslam, that’s exactly what a disgruntled ex-employee would say: The football people will always try to claim that they wanted to draft the better player, and that the owner forced them to draft the lesser player for non-football reasons.

But the Browns have made so many mistakes, and Haslam has been the constant through all of them, that it’s not hard to believe he really has been the problem. The Browns appear to have finally made the right pick when they chose Baker Mayfield last year. Maybe John Dorsey was finally the G.M. who got Haslam to keep his hands off.