BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – It didn’t take long after Sashi Brown was formally relieved of his duties as executive vice president of football operations for John Dorsey’s name to surface as a leading candidate to replace Brown.
Thursday night the Browns made it official by completing one of the shortest general manager searches in history – and hiring the most qualified personnel executive the team has had since returning in 1999.
Over his 26-year career as a personnel executive, Dorsey, who is also a former NFL linebacker, has helped his teams to 19 playoff berths, 11 divisional titles, 3 conference championships and 2 Super Bowl victories.
“We are thrilled to have John Dorsey lead our football operations,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement released by the team. “John has been immersed in the NFL for 26 years, won two Super Bowls, built sustainable winning football teams and is highly respected for his football acumen. We know we have a critical and very positive opportunity ahead of us to profoundly impact the foundation of this football team. Bringing in someone of John Dorsey’s caliber, his track record of success and his experience, significantly strengthens our opportunities to build a winning football team and that has been, and continues to be, what we want for our fans.”
Dorsey, who was instrumental in the rebuilding of the Kansas City Chiefs but was fired in June, brings with him the most impressive resume of identifying and acquiring elite NFL talent to Cleveland the franchise has seen in decades.
While working under Packers general managers Ted Thompson and Mike Sherman in Green Bay where he worked as a personnel executive for 21 years in a variety of roles, Dorsey was involved with the selections of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker A.J. Hawk, receiver Greg Jennings, nose tackle B.J. Raji and linebacker Clay Matthews just to name a few.
As general manager of the Chiefs Dorsey saw Kansas City compile a 43-21 record, including 3 playoff appearances in 4 years prior to his departure this past Summer. He oversaw the selections of tight end Travis Kelce, cornerback Marcus Peters, receiver Tyreek Hill in the draft and he acquired quarterback Alex Smith via trade to lead the team’s renaissance.
The job in Cleveland, where the Browns have essentially fallen into an abyss of failure, might be Dorsey’s toughest challenge yet.
The Browns have gone from perennial cellar dweller losers to the one of the worst in NFL history. They are 1-27 since the start of the 2016 season, 4-45 since Nov. 30, 2014, 19-66 since the Haslams officially closed on the sale of and took control of the team, 20-72 since the start of the 2012 season and 88-212 overall since 1999.
Dorsey really does have his work cut out for him, but he feels he’s up to the challenge.
“Football is what I know, it is what I love, it is what I have worked my whole career at and I thrive on every element that goes into building a winning football team,” Dorsey said. “I have spent a majority of my football life with two franchises that also have storied history and I think I have a feel for the mentality of the fans in Cleveland and what it would mean to recreate the success this franchise once had.
“I also have quickly realized how passionate Jimmy and Dee are about bringing a winning team to the city and would have not taken the job if I didn’t think the right ownership was in place. I am eager to work with Hue, his staff, and our personnel department and help bring us the success these fans so deserve.”
Dorsey will be heavily armed with assets this offseason to begin the process of turning the woebegone Browns around. Cleveland has just under $60 million in unused salary cap space to roll over to 2018 which could give them close to $100 million in room and 5 picks in the first 2 rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft next April, with potentially 4 in the top 40.
The internal structure of the Browns remains unchanged and Dorsey will report directly to ownership.
Earlier on Thursday the Haslams also announced that head coach Hue Jackson would return in 2018.