CLEVELAND—Jimmy Haslam wasted no time in cutting ties with Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer. Haslam announced after meeting with Pettine at 7 pm that he was being relieved of his duties. The Browns announced the move in a release.
About an hour later, Jimmy and Dee Haslam met with about 10 local writers to explain the moves.
In the meeting, Haslam announced that Sashi Brown would be the new executive vice-president of football operations.
Brown has been with the Browns almost three years to the date as he was hired Jan. 13, 2013 to be the Browns' executive vice president/general counsel.
Haslam said Brown will be part of the search committee to hire a new head coach that will begin immediately. He also said a new general manager will be hired after the head coach and the new GM will report to Brown. Haslam also said that Brown will have final say in the draft and the 53 man roster--not the GM.
"Effective tonight, Sashi Brown will be our executive vice president of football operations," Haslam said. "Sashi, I believe is the right person for the Cleveland Browns. He's been in the NFL for 10 plus years.He has been heavily involved in the (salary) cap, heavily involved in our football administration and operations the last year or two.
"He's very smart, very organized," Haslam said. "Good at systems and processes and an outstanding team player. He's also very strategic, so we will use those skills and working for him will be a GM, who's primary job will be talent acquisition."
Brown has been involved in the business side and the football side of the organization. On the football side, Brown has overseen the football administration function, including management of the salary cap, negotiations of player contracts and various strategic initiatives.
Brown is excited about the opportunity and the challenge presented to him
“My focus in heading up our football operations will be building the best department possible and incorporating extensive resources so that we can maximize our ability to make the best decisions for the Cleveland Browns," Brown said in a statement from the team. "We must capitalize on every opportunity to develop our players to the fullest. Having spent 11 years in the league, working as a football executive, I have a deep respect for the critical role of talent evaluation, and we will look to find an individual who excels in that area and is a good leader for the scouts and personnel. My family and I have quickly embraced living in Northeast Ohio and want nothing more than to be a part of a successful turnaround for the Browns.”
On the business side, his duties have included contract negotiations, government affairs, employment matter, insurance and risk management, licensing and intellectual property issues and litigation management.
For the fifth time since 2008, the Browns are changing their organization at the top after losing to Pittsburgh. Starting after the 2008 season finale, Romeo Crennel was shown the door, followed by Eric Mangini after the 2010 season. Pat Shurmer was fired after the 2012 campaign and Rob Chudzinski was given one year and then fired after the 2013 season finale loss to the Steelers. Shurmur, Chudzinski and now Mike Pettine were all fired by Haslam after he took over as owner for he team.
Brown just completed his 11th season in the NFL. Before joining the Browns, Brown was with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2005-12.