According to a report over the weekend by the Lake County News-Herald's Jeff Schudel, Browns CEO Carmen Policy recently sold his 10% share of the Browns to owner Randy Lerner. The transaction gives Lerner full ownership of the team.
Schudel quoted "an NFL source" for the story, which states that the transaction was completely, quietly, at the NFL owner's meeting last week in Chicago. No reason for the sell-back was given within the story.
Policy recently signed a five-year extension to continue guiding the business side of the Browns operations. While the team has not distinguished itself on the field since its return in 1999, Policy had overseen an aggressive marketing of the team which has incorporated everything from trademarking a Dawg Pound logo to establishing a slew of sponsorship agreements.
Schudel suggests that Policy's sale of his shares will not impact the team's operations and that Policy will retain control of the team's business operations. A recent interview with Randy Lerner by the Cleveland Plain Dealer showed an owner with little to no interest of getting more deeply involved with the team's decision-making process or day-to-day management.
While no motive has been assigned to the sale of his share, Policy did offer some hints that he was considering leaving the team following Al Lerner's death a little over a year ago. Policy subsequently signed the five-year extension, putting an end to speculation that he might leave. This latest transaction may re-start such talk, but Policy has given no indication in recent months that he has any intention to leave his current role.