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Volume 25 No. 27
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Browns Start Over Again, Fire Exec VP Sashi Brown After 1-27 Record Under His Watch

The Browns fired Exec VP/Football Operations Sashi Brown today, and other front-office members also are "expected to be let go as the team reshapes its front office again," according to sources cited by Schefter & Russini of ESPN.com. Browns coach Hue Jackson will "remain on the job and will return" for the '18 season. Sources said that the Browns will "immediately" begin their official search for a new GM, the team's ninth since the franchise returned to Cleveland in '99. The team has "quietly has been inquiring" about other GMs "around the league for weeks now." Sources said that Browns Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam are "expected to interview GM candidates as early as this week," though they also "already could have spoken" with former NFL GMs Dave Gettleman, John Dorsey and Scot McCloughan without any permission or any restrictions. Thursday's shakeup "continues a run that has made" the Browns the NFL's "most unstable franchise." The team has also had nine head coaches since '99, tied for fourth-most in the NFL (ESPN.com, 12/7). Schefter reports the Browns "feel like they need a football person to come in there to lead this football team back to prominence at a time when the AFC North is ripe" ("SportsCenter," ESPN2, 12/7).

BROWNS GMS SINCE RE-ENTERING NFL IN '99
GM
SEASONS
Dwight Clark
'99-'01
Butch Davis
'02-04
Phil Savage
'05-08
George Kokinis
'09
Tom Heckert
'10-12
Michael Lombardi
'13
Ray Farmer
'14-15
Sashi Brown*
'16-17
NOTE: * = held title of Exec VP/Football Operations

LACK OF RESULTS HARD TO IGNORE: In Akron, Nate Ulrich notes Brown had a "final say on all roster decisions when Haslam promoted him" after the '15 season from Exec VP & General Counsel. With Brown, Jackson and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta in charge, the team has gone 1-27 and "passed on chances to pick quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the past two drafts." DePodesta’s "future is uncertain" (OHIO.com, 12/7). CBSSPORTS.com's Will Brinson writes Brown's regime was "marked by major whiffs at the quarterback position." In addition to passing on Wentz and Watson, the team "bungled" the trade deadline deal for Bengals QB A.J. McCarron, which "probably did not help" Brown's cause (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/7). YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab notes Brown "set up the next front office pretty well." Schwab: "He probably wanted to see his plan through, because it was easy to see how it could take shape. But 1-27 just doesn’t play well in the parity-driven NFL" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/7). Schefter noted the franchise is "well positioned for the next couple of years," with "extra picks (and) lots of salary cap space" ("SportsCenter," ESPN2, 12/7). 

TWITTER REAX: Twitter commentators tended to take issue with the move to fire Brown. Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor: "Some future GM is going to step into good situation w/ #Browns ... all because of the foundation Sashi Brown put down. Yet new guy will likely get credit." Sporting News' Eric Galko: "Bold prediction: We look at Sashi Brown in three years like we look at Sam Hinckie now - a Decision Maker whose vision and bold stances pay off for the franchise after he's not longer there to see it through. ... If not for ownership, this would be the most coveted GM job in recent memory." Bleacher Report's Ian Kenyon: "If you know you're going to tank for picks, you have to see the process through." NFL Network's Tom Pelissero: "The long-term plan for the football operation lasted less than 2 years." ESPN The Magazine's Mina Kimes: "People are going to use sashi brown's record as a cudgel against analytics-driven processes, when it was actually a failure of execution." WKYC-NBC's Ben Axelrod: "Sashi Brown’s promotion never made sense in the first place and you can’t go 1-27 in two years while passing on multiple franchise quarterbacks in the process." The Athletic's Zack Meisel: "Why Sashi Brown was ever put in charge of personnel, given his previous experience, is beyond me. He stockpiled picks, but that's the easy part. Now get someone who can hit on those picks and you may have something."