SATURDAY, 8:22pm: The Browns are expected to fire both Pettine and Farmer, perhaps as early as Sunday night, according to Cabot. Haslam has already begun the process of finding replacements and could start scheduling interviews tomorrow night.
SATURDAY, 8:45am: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Pettine explicitly asked Haslam whether he’d be retained for next season. The owner reportedly refused to answer.
“Pettine actually asked him, ‘Have you made a decision about my future?’ And Haslam would not answer, and that essentially ended that meeting,” Rapoport said on NFL Network (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com).
FRIDAY, 8:18pm: Browns staffers came out of a Friday meeting with head coach Mike Pettine with the sense that he’ll be fired in the coming days, sources told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Sources also indicated owner Jimmy Haslam informed Pettine that a decision won’t be made until Monday, one day after the 3-12 Browns end their season against AFC North rival Pittsburgh.
Further, a move in the personnel department Monday could precede a possible Pettine firing. That would put second-year general manager Ray Farmer in jeopardy, as Cabot reports. During their run as GM and coach, Farmer and Pettine have combined to lead the Browns to a 10-21 mark. Haslam preached stability regarding both jobs over the summer, but that was before a disastrous 2015-16 campaign that will likely force him to make major changes.
Regardless of whether Farmer or someone else is the Browns’ GM, there will be obstacles standing in the way of finding a quality Pettine replacement. Cabot points to a lack of past stability with Browns coaches, plenty of other openings around the NFL, and the absence of a franchise quarterback as issues Cleveland will have to overcome. Since Haslam took over the team in 2012, he has already fired two head coaches. Pettine would be the third, and Haslam’s perceived trigger-happy nature in firing coaches might scare off candidates this year.