BEREA, Ohio — The Browns fired their coach after one season. Now they’re sweeping out their front office.
Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Tuesday that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months and that general manager Michael Lombardi also is leaving the team.
“Mike and Joe have left us in good position in terms of free agency and cap space as well as this year’s draft, where we have 10 overall picks and three of the first 35,” Haslam said at a news conference.
It’s yet another stunning development for a franchise that has undergone nearly constant change in the past 15 years.
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Haslam also said assistant GM Ray Farmer, who was pursued to be the Miami Dolphins’ GM this winter, has been promoted and will immediately take over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the upcomnig draft. The CEO title has been abolished.
The shake-up comes one month after the Browns finally hired coach Mike Pettine. Banner and Haslam had fired coach Rob Chudzinski after a 4-12 season, the team’s sixth straight with at least 11 losses.
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• Denver Broncos VP John Elway says QB Peyton Manning’s $17.5 million salary-cap number — about 25 times that of Seahawks counterpart Russell Wilson’s $681,000 — is nonetheless worth it. “That’s just part of when you get a quality quarterback like that, that we have in Peyton Manning,” Elway said. “You know that’s going to be a big chunk of your salary cap, but we got to figure out ways to find the right players.”
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