One of the downsides of being an NFL GM is you get tied to the players taken by your team, even if you weren't really thrilled about those players being taken. Put another way: different general managers have different levels of power and sometimes don't get final say.
Speaking to CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara on Monday night, Farmer made it clear that in many cases there is not one person absolutely responsible for drafting any given player.
"There are very few decisions made in anybody’s draft in a vacuum. The GM very, very, very rarely says ‘Hey i’m taking this guy and there’s nothing anybody else can say about it,'" Farmer said. "The head coach doesn’t do it, the owner doesn’t do it. In that case, I would tell you that there were a lot of conversations that happened and the selection was made."
Read between the lines and the former Browns GM is saying he's not to blame for drafting Manziel, that there were conversations about a quarterback and ultimately things shook out the way they did.
But Farmer also knows that because he was the one who ultimately pulled the trigger -- because pulling the trigger was his job responsibility -- he's the one who ultimately gets the blame if a pick fails.
"It’s the reality of the National Football League that whoever gets selected, that name is going to get attributed to the general manager," Farmer said. "Whether he selected that guy or not. So for good, worse, better, doesn’t really matter, Johnny Manziel is mine and I have to own it."
Farmer didn't lose his job because the Browns drafted Manziel.
Farmer lost his job because the Browns used four first-round picks on Manziel, Justin Gilbert, Cameron Erving and Danny Shelton while he was there, failed to find a replacement for Josh Gordon and went 10-29 while he was the GM.
He was never going to flip the Browns around in that short a time, but taking Gilbert/Manziel instead of Odell Beckham, Jr., and Bridgewater definitely didn't help matters.
Kudos to Farmer for mostly taking the high road when torching every bridge would be so much easier. You can listen to the full interview below: