Haslam Will Still Be "Heavily Involved" With Browns Despite Return To Pilot Flying J
Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III yesterday promised fans that he will "still be heavily involved in all aspects of the team -- including free agency and the draft -- despite reassuming his role as CEO of Pilot Flying J," according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Haslam added that he will spend "no less time with the Browns despite taking his old job back." He said, "My time in Cleveland is not going to change at all. During the season we're there a day or two a week and we're there on weekends or wherever we're playing. We'll be very active and very visible during training camp and we're obviously going to be there a lot during the free agency and draft periods which are obviously so important to the future of the Browns." He stressed that he will "still be one of the team's four decision-makers," along with CEO Joe Banner, coach Rob Chudzinski and VP/Player Personnel Michael Lombardi. Haslam: "I know people always ask who has the final say, and this is going to be a collaborative effort just like we've described before" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/13). In Akron, Nate Ulrich conducted a Q&A with Haslam and asked about his future involvement. Haslam said, "You can assure everybody we're going to be extremely involved" (OHIO.com, 2/12). Also in Akron, Marla Ridenour wrote, "I can’t see Haslam becoming as much of a defacto owner as Randy Lerner; he seems too hard-wired for that to happen." But Monday’s news did "suck a little more air out of my balloon in terms of the Browns’ front office changes, especially when it comes to the energy Haslam brings to the building." Banner and Lombardi will "take on much bigger roles, bigger than they’ve ever held before in the NFL" (OHIO.com, 2/12).