Cleveland Browns Moves Continue to Confuse and Confound

The Cleveland Browns made a shake-up in their front office today, firing GM Mike Lombardi, and promoting Ray Farmer to the position of general manager.  The team also announced that CEO Joe Banner will be stepping down. The team released the following statement on behalf of owner Jimmy Haslem:

“First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer. Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.

“We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.”

The Browns also announced that president Alec Schneider will continue in his role overseeing the organization’s business operation.

“Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.” said Haslem

“We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.

“The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”

Cleveland Browns Moves Continue to Confuse and Confound

The moves continue to confound most onlookers, including myself.  Lombardi was given one season with the team as general manager, while Banner joined the club in 2012.  While I understand that if an arrangement isn’t working out, changes have to be made, I simply can’t understand the logic here.

The Browns allowed Lombardi to perform his duties as General Manager following the season, and fire head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one year with the team.  They further allowed Lombardi to conduct a search for the next head coach of the team, eventually hiring former Buffalo Bills defensive co-ordinator Mike Pettine for that job.  Further the Browns allowed Lombardi to perform all the preparations for NFL free agency, and scout the Senior Bowl practices and game in anticipation of the NFL draft.

The simple question that must be asked is, if the evaluation was that Lombardi didn’t do a good enough job last season, and they were planning on making Farmer the GM in the off-season, why is this move made on February 11?  Why not as soon as the regular season ended, on Black Monday, when every other team made their decisions on whether they would need a new coach or general manager?  Why fire the coach and GM after only one year on the job each? Rebuilding takes time.

Once again, the Browns are proving just why they are the Browns, and the laughing stock of the NFL.  The change to owner Jimmy Haslem has only made things worse, not better, in Cleveland so far.


Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter – @LastwordBKerr.  Support LWOS by following us on Twitter  – @LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.

Interested in writing for LWOS?  We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Football writing team.  Visit our “Write for Us” page for very easy details in how you can get started today!

Football fans…check out our two partnered NFL podcasts – Thursday Night Tailgate Radio and Overtime Ireland.  Both shows bring you interesting commentary, critical analysis and fantastic guests including former and current NFL players, coaches and personalities.