The Cleveland Browns fired executive vice president Sashi Brown, the man who headed Cleveland’s personnel department the past two years, league sources told ESPN.
Head coach Hue Jackson will remain on the job and the expectation is that he will return for the 2018 season, though whoever Cleveland hires as its new general manager also will have a say.
But for now, ownership plans to retain Jackson, as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported last month.
Other front-office members also are expected to be let go, as the team reshapes its front office again.
The Browns declined comment at this time.
Cleveland immediately will begin its official search for a new general manager, its ninth general manager since the franchise returned to its city in 1999, though it quietly has been inquiring about others around the league for weeks now, per sources.
Brown will leave a Cleveland team that traded away the picks that became Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, but also an organization that has stockpiled picks for future drafts and created more salary-cap space than any team in the league.
This team actually is well positioned for future years, many NFL executives have noted recently. Whoever takes over inherits some of the riches that Brown helped build.
The Browns have six extra picks in April’s draft — an extra first-, two extra second-round picks, an extra fourth-round pick, an extra fifth-round pick. Right now, the Browns also have $59.25 million cap space this year that they can roll over into next year, when they already are scheduled to have another $38.6 million of room, giving them almost $100 million in salary cap space.
The team also failed to execute a trade for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron seconds before the NFL’s Oct. 31 trade deadline, when the proper paperwork did not get processed, and a trade that looked like it was going through abruptly fell apart.
Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam are expected to interview GM candidates as early as this week, per sources, though they also already could have spoken with former NFL general managers Dave Gettleman, John Dorsey and Scot McCloughan without any permission or any restrictions.
Today’s shakeup continues a run that has made Cleveland the NFL’s most unstable franchise. Since returning to Cleveland, the Browns had had eight different general managers — Brown, Ray Farmer, Michael Lombardi, Tom Heckert, George Kokinis, Phil Savage, Butch Davis and Dwight Clark. It also has employed longtime executives Paul DePodesta, Joe Banner, Mike Holmgren and Mike Keenan.
The Browns also have had nine head coaches since 1999, tied for 4th-most in the NFL. The Bills, Dolphins and Raiders have all had 10. But Jackson, at least for the time being, is staying on.
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