CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-6 for a second straight year and the current regime is 1-21 since beginning the tear down and reconstruction of the roster in 2016.
ProFootballTalk.com reported Sunday evening that the Browns have quietly begun the process of finding a football executive to run the front office and Mike Florio said on Sunday Night Football that “the wheels are in motion for the Browns to, yet again, reboot that franchise.”
With another round of changes all but inevitable at this point, here is our 5-step plan for fixing the Cleveland Browns.
– Hire a team president or CEO and use a search firm again to make this hire. The search should begin immediately with a target hire date of mid-December. This is difficult for the Haslams, who were burned by former CEO Joe Banner and former president Alec Scheiner, but they have to reconfigure the corporate structure. The team president or CEO will oversee both the business side of the franchise as well as football side and answer directly to ownership. The Haslams took on quite a bit of responsibility that frankly they can’t handle when they fired Scheiner and had every individual department report to them directly.
– Fire Paul DePodesta or he resigns. DePodesta has done well in aiding the Browns in maximizing their assets since coming aboard in Jan. 2016 as chief strategy officer. They’ve made numerous trades that have resulted in 24 draft selections over the last 2 Aprils and the Browns control the 2018 draft by owning a pair of first-round picks and 3 second-round selections. The time for acquiring assets is over, it’s time to build the team and it’s highly doubtful that a former baseball executive can build a 53-man football roster.
– Return Sashi Brown to executive vice president-general counsel. Firing Brown, who was promoted to executive vice president of football operations – a position he was not qualified for – just isn’t right. Allow him – if he chooses to – remain with the franchise in his previous role at his present salary level where he excelled before. Should Brown not want to remain with the organization, then they must move on, but he can no longer remain in control of the 53-man roster. That is non-negotiable.
– Upon their hiring, the new president-CEO searches for and hires the next general manager/top football executive with the assistance of a search firm. The general manger will hold complete unfettered control of the 53, including the NFL draft and free agency. The president-CEO will be kept in the loop as to enable their ability to answer to ownership on football operational matters, but will not be able to control, persuade or direct personnel decisions.
– The new president-CEO and new general manager will then determine the fate of head coach Hue Jackson. If they decide Jackson goes, then so be it. They would also take charge of hiring the ninth full-time head coach since 1999.
It is highly doubtful that Jimmy and Dee Haslam will follow this plan, but it’d be in their best interest to do so.
It may be their only hope for salvaging their ownership in Cleveland.