Bill Parcells

Sashi Brown Attempted To Help Browns Find Football Exec?

The Browns were officially without a top decision-maker for less than 12 hours, firing Sashi Brown and hiring John Dorsey on Thursday. That process, though, unfolded for the past several weeks.

And Brown himself might have been part of it. The Browns enlisted the help of Hall of Famers Bill Parcells and Ron Wolf to help land a football executive, Michael Lombardi of The Ringer reports (on Twitter). The former Browns GM added Brown was involved in this process. Lombardi, however, points out Brown thought he would join the new football-based exec instead of being replaced.

Jimmy Haslam appeared to be toying with that notion as well. The owner initially wanted to bring in a football voice to complement Brown rather than replace him, but after research, he decided Brown couldn’t be part of the new equation. Interestingly, Brown lieutenants Paul DePodesta and Andrew Berry will. And each won’t have to report to Dorsey, in a unique arrangement.

Rumors about the Browns searching for execs with stronger football backgrounds came out of Cleveland back in mid-October, and although the Browns denied it, that point in time seems to add up with the five- to six-week search process multiple outlets have reported encompassed this shakeup effort.

Wolf’s involvement is interesting given that he’d played this role before. The former Packers GM has done this at multiple junctures in the past. He served in a consultant role and recommended the hire of Mike Holmgren as team president and also met with Haslam late in 2015, doing so prior to Haslam’s decision to bring in the new-age front office.

Wolf’s son, Packers exec Eliot Wolf, was mentioned as a possible candidate, but it’s clear the Browns were not especially interested in going through traditional channels via offseason interview process to fill this vacancy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Wright, Saffold

Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell told reporters, including ESPN.com’s James Walker (on Twitter), that he’s talked to Bill Parcells since taking over the job and that he has been a good “resource.” Parcells is said to still have a lot of sway in Miami’s operations, which has led some to speculate that Sean Payton could be a fit for Miami since he once served as his assistant in Dallas.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Earlier this week, Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith heard that Shareece Wright was leaning toward signing with the Seahawks. Smith, not wanting Seattle to beat Baltimore to the punch, put in recruiting call to Wright, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets. Smith joked that he’s the reason the ex-49ers/Chargers corner signed with the Ravens, but it’s possible that he moved the needle. Wright rode the bench in SF and he’s looking to get playing time with his new squad.
  • Former Baylor wide receiver Antwan Goodley worked out for the Giants today, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Rams right guard Rodger Saffold is not expected to return to the playing field soon, if at all this season, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe has a high ankle sprain and will likely be out for a few weeks, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com tweets.

Jets Notes: Casserly, Wolf, Wilkerson

With the Dolphins now out of the playoff picture, the Jets can’t even play the role of spoiler in Week 17, so the other drama remaining in 2014 for the team is determining draft position for 2015, and figuring out whether the franchise will be looking for a new general manager and head coach. Here’s the latest on the AFC East’s cellar dwellers:

  • If the Jets decide to move on from general manager John Idzik at season’s end, Charley Casserly is expected to be one of the two consultants spearheading the search for a new GM and head coach, tweets Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. In a second tweet, Mehta adds that Bill Parcells won’t be the second consultant involved in the process.
  • Abert Breer of the NFL Network has more details on the Jets’ potential consultants, reporting (via Twitter) that the team has approached Ron Wolf about a consultant role. Wolf, who worked for the Jets before going to Green Bay in 1991, also served as a consultant for the Raiders and Chargers in recent years. According to Breer (via Twitter), Wolf would work with Casserly if he comes aboard, as the club looks to “chart a course” going forward.
  • Peter King of The MMQB.com (Twitter link) suggests owner Woody Johnson should look into Eric DeCosta (Ravens), Chris Ballard (Chiefs), Ryan Pace (Saints), and Scott Pioli (Falcons) as possible football decision-makers.
  • Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson expected to have a new deal in place with the Jets by now, but isn’t upset that it hasn’t happened yet, writes Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “No, I’m not disappointed,” Wilkerson said. “I mean, I thought it would be done, but it wasn’t, so, hey, it is what it is. I’m patiently waiting. If it happens, it happens.” Wilkerson is currently under contract through the 2015 season, via his fifth-year option.

Browns Owner Talks Draft, Haden, Parcells

With a new GM (Ray Farmer) and head coach (Mike Pettine) in place in Cleveland, this year’s group of decision-makers looks significant different than the group that selected Barkevious Mingo sixth overall a year ago. One constant though is owner Jimmy Haslam, who spoke to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com and other Browns beat writers last week about the importance of this offseason and the draft for the franchise, and his long-term outlook for the team.

Here are a few notable quotes from the Browns owner:

On whether there’s a scenario in which he’d overrule Farmer or Pettine on a draft decision:

“Zero chance. We will have so many conversations between now and the draft about who we’re picking. Are we picking this position or that position? Who are the top three or four guys? We will be well planned out, so that, ‘Hey, here’s plan A. But if plan A doesn’t work, here’s plan B, and here’s plan C. That’s what getting ready is all about. That’s what Ray and his group are focused on, and we’ll all participate. Mike will play a key role in that, too.”

On whether the team might use the No. 4 overall pick on a non-quarterback:

“Yeah, I don’’t think we’re’ compelled to pick a quarterback at No. 4. We don’’t know that yet. The draft is May 8, so it’’s still six, seven weeks, and Ray and his team and Pett and his team have a lot of work to do between now and then.””

On the importance of the 2014 draft for the Browns:

“We have three of the top 35 picks and 10 overall, so it’s exceptionally important that we do a good job in the draft and I think we’ve said that for the last year and this is an important free agency. We’ll know this time next year, but I think we feel good about the moves we’ve made in free agency.”

On potentially extending the contract of cornerback Joe Haden:

“Joe’s very important to the franchise and people forget, Joe’s only 24 years old, because he got out of high school a little early, got out of college three straight years and he’s very important to the franchise, and going forward we want to sign our really good players early if possible and Joe certainly exemplifies that.”

On whether he has an open line of communication with Bill Parcells:

“Yeah, but Bill’s not going to come work for us, okay? I know that’s what everyone’s angling at, but there’s other people that we talk to too who are knowledgeable in football that will share that too. Somehow the Parcells information just happened to hit the radar screen.”

Browns Rumors: Parcells, Banner, Draft

Before announcing their new front office structure, the Browns targeted Bill Parcells to run the franchise, according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report. While Freeman’s report comes via an unnamed source, Parcells himself tells the BR scribe that he only spoke to the Browns about why organizations succeed and fail.

Parcells has previously served as the Jets’ general manager and, more recently, as the executive VP of football operations in Miami with the Dolphins. However, he hasn’t worked with an NFL team in an official capacity for the last several years. While Freeman’s report remains unconfirmed, it’s not a stretch to think that the Browns would have approached him about a position in the organization, nor is it hard to believe that Parcells passed, given his age (72) and the way in which the club’s coaching search played out.

Here’s more on the team’s front office shakeup and fallout:

  • TheMMQB.com’s Peter King took an extended look at the situation in Cleveland, passing along an anecdote about the team’s interview of coaching canidate Ken Whisenhunt which illustrated why owner Jimmy Haslam made the decision to part ways with CEO Joe Banner — according to King, Haslam had become increasingly “dubious about Banner’s football acumen,” which was openly questioned by Whisenhunt during his interview.
  • King hears from a source that, after strong recommendations by Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer, Haslam was interested in interviewing former Bucs coach Greg Schiano for Cleveland’s opening. However, Banner wanted nothing to do with Schiano, whose stint in Tampa had been rocky, and was cold to him during his interview, according to the source. The incident further illustrated the “major rift” among the Browns’ decision-makers, King writes.
  • King backs up a Tuesday report which suggested that Banner and Michael Lombardi were shocked by the abrupt announcement by Haslam.
  • The Browns “seem prepared to move heaven and earth” to draft a franchise quarterback in the first round of May’s draft, according to King.
  • Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer spoke to a number of people around the league about new Browns GM Ray Farmer, and the consensus was that Farmer is ready to take on the role.
  • Earlier today, we heard that the Browns are negotiating a long-term contract with cornerback Joe Haden.