It’s not often you get to hear what a GM really thinks. You usually get it cloaked in politics and tact.
Here’s a good example. Redskins President Bruce Allen basically called out OH Alfred Morris and his agent, Sean Stellato of SES LLC, earlier this month when he said he’d “applaud” Morris if he landed a great contract in free agency. It sounded like he was being magnanimous, but he was actually saying Morris and his agent were living on another planet if they thought the ex-‘Skin was going to be in demand on the market.
What’s more, you never hear a GM call out a high-powered agent in this manner. He doesn’t want to risk poisoning the well with a contract advisor he’s going to have to work with soon. In this case, Allen was basically tossing Stellato on the scrap heap.
That’s why I’m looking forward to Wednesday night (7 p.m., Room 144 of the Indiana Convention Center), when former Browns GM Ray Farmer will be speaking at Inside the League‘s seventh annual seminar. It’s going to be a prime chance to hear a guy who was once one of the 32 decision-makers in the league speaking candidly without holding anything back. Ray will not be politically correct on Wednesday. He’s doing this for free because he feels so passionately about speaking truth to the agents, financial advisors and other league professionals that will be there.
Ray has his critics, OK? I get it. His time with the Browns wasn’t all sunshine and roses. But I challenge you to find anyone at the executive or coaching level with the Browns during the Haslam era who hasn’t looked a lot smarter post-Browns that during his time with the team. I don’t mean to pick on Haslam or anyone else associated with the team, but the facts are that it’s been a rocky last few years.
You have to respect Ray because, like last year’s speaker Phil Emery, he came up through the ranks. Ray was an area scout — a road guy who was spending every moment on the road 11 months out of the year — with Atlanta, then on the pro side with the Chiefs before ascending to the GM level with the Browns. And oh by the way, he’s a Duke grad who once served as the Blue Devils’ academic coordinator. Those aren’t the kinds of things that academic lightweights do.
No agenda, actual league credibility and basic smarts on and off the field make for a pretty powerful combination in a speaker. If you’re an ITL client, I sure hope you make time to join us Wednesday. If not, fix that here and get on down to our seminar (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Room 144 of the Indiana Convention Center).