The Browns Are Set Up for the Future on Paper, But Jimmy Haslam Can Ruin Anything

The Browns Are Set Up for the Future on Paper, But Jimmy Haslam Can Ruin Anything


The Browns Are Set Up for the Future on Paper, But Jimmy Haslam Can Ruin Anything


The Browns fired Sashi Brown after less than two years in charge of the team’s personnel. Brown assembled a war chest of draft picks — they have two top-ten picks, and three second rounders in 2018 — but also passed on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, as the team has gone 1-27 since he became in charge.

When Jimmy Haslam became owner of the Browns in 2012, he emphasized that the franchise would have coaching stability. “They’ve averaged a new coach once every 2.8 years (since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999) and that’s just not a good recipe,” Haslam told Peter King. “One thing I learned from watching the Steelers is the importance of consistency in coaching, and how much it sets you back when you’re always making a change. When you change coaches, it can be a three- or four-year deal to get back.”

Since those quotes, Haslam mowed through Pat Shurmur (who he acquired from the Randy Lerner regime) and Rob Chudzinski in one season apiece and Mike Pettine in two. Haslam said today that Hue Jackson will be back next year for a third season, but he also said that he wants to bring in a personnel man with experience building a successful football team. What if that mystery man also wants to pick his own coach?

Since Haslam took over the Browns, they have gone 20-72 and never finished better than last in the AFC North. Since Mike Holmgren, these personnel department failures have also happened on his watch:

Haslam, along with his family, has also had a lot of influence in the Tennessee football program. Their last several picks included Lane Kiffin, who bolted after a season, and Derek Dooley and Butch Jones who failed spectacularly. They tried to hire Greg Schiano, before running into a populist insurrection. Haslam is also embroiled, though has not been charged, in an ongoing scandal in which his family’s Pilot gas station chain swindled trucking companies out of promised fuel rebates.

Even as the Browns appear primed to stockpile assets with the aforementioned draft picks, as well as a bevy of cap space, the man ultimately in charge of the franchise has an abysmal football track record. Can he pick the right rebuilder and get the hell out of the way?

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