“We have great appreciation and gratitude for Sashi’s commitment and leadership to our organization but believe transitioning to someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams is critical to the future of the Cleveland Browns. Today we informed Sashi that we were going in a new direction. The 2018 draft and offseason is pivotal for our franchise, we need to ensure that we maximize our opportunity for success; with our picks, free agency and building our roster. Hue Jackson will remain our coach and will return for the 2018 season but we feel it is necessary to take significant steps to strengthen our personnel department. We have begun the process of having productive conversations regarding leadership of our football operations and will provide further updates when appropriate. We thank Sashi for all his hard work and dedication to the Cleveland Browns.”
The Browns are 0-12 and 1-27 over the last two seasons. Some sort of shakeup was expected, though not necessarily before the end of the season. It’s possible that the Browns were motivated to get a head start on their GM search after the Giants sacked Jerry Reese earlier this week. Their next hire will be their ninth GM since returning to Cleveland in 1999.
Meanwhile, the Browns will hold off on hiring their tenth coach since returning to Cleveland. Jackson was brought to Cleveland for his offensive acumen, leadership, and positive energy. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to demonstrate much of that with a lackluster roster. The good news for Jackson is that even if his team goes 0-16 this year, he will return for next season.
Brown was hired as the Browns’ executive vice president/general counsel in January of 2013 and was promoted to executive vice president of football operations in January of 2016. He took an unorthodox approach to team building, one that has yet to bear any fruit in Cleveland. However, he did leave the team with lots of cap room and draft capital to work with, so the team’s next GM may be in a position to succeed – provided that he can break the team’s longstanding curse.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.