SBD/Issue 86/Franchises

Browns Fire Mike Keenan, Could Part Ways With Dawn Aponte

The Browns on Friday fired CFO Mike Keenan, who had served as team President "until the arrival of Mike Holmgren" earlier this month, according to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Keenan, who was demoted to CFO when Holmgren was named president, oversaw the "development of broadcast contracts and the club's sales and marketing departments." He was Browns Owner Randy Lerner's "top representative at league meetings" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/16). Meanwhile, Grossi cited an NFL source as saying that the Browns and Dolphins are "contemplating swapping salary cap specialists." If the deal works out, Browns VP/Football Administration Dawn Aponte would leave the team for the Dolphins, and would be replaced in Cleveland by Matt Thomas, who holds the same title for the Dolphins. The changes "apparently are being brokered" by new Browns Exec VP Bryan Wiedmeier, who joined the club last week after 29 years with the Dolphins. Aponte previously worked for the Jets when the team was coached by Bill Parcells, who now serves as Exec VP/Football Operations of the Dolphins (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/17). ESPN.com's Adam Schefter cited league sources as saying that when Keenan in '09 "attempted to hire Aponte away from the NFL office, the Browns became the first organization to be charged with tampering with an NFL employee and were fined $50,000" (ESPN.com, 1/17).

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