UPDATE 2:00PM: Lane Adkins has answered a number of questions about the developing story in the Ask the Insiders forum. We have placed a new poll on Carmen Policy's performance as team president on the front page of BerniesInsiders.com.
UPDATE 10:00AM: Pat McManamon, in an interview on WKNR, speculated that the reason for Policy's departure is that the Browns President left the Browns due to a desire to retire to his Napa Valley property. There is no indication that Policy's exit is due to a desire to run for NFL Commissioner or head a franchise in Los Angeles - both rumors which have been spread via the Internet. McManamon suggested that Collins is likely not just a temporary fill-in, and that he did not sense any rift between Policy and Davis.
UPDATE 9:45AM: Here is a press release we received from the team a few
Carmen Policy will be leaving the Browns at the end of the 2004 season. He will remain for this season to help with the transition. John Collins, currently the NFL's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, will become the new President and CEO on May 1, 2004.
There will be a press conference today in Berea at 3:30 p.m. – attendees will be Carmen Policy, Randy Lerner and John Collins.
UPDATE 9:30AM: CBS Sportsline now has a report available.
UPDATE 9:00AM: Policy's press conference has been pushed back to 3:30PM, according to radio reports. Lane Adkins reminded me this morning that Policy has a long history of pulling team executives from the NFL's marketing arm. The retiring Browns President pulled both Bruce Popko and Bill Hampton from the NFL's offices in New York. John Collins would be the latest marketing executive to head to Cleveland.
UPDATE 8:00AM: Here is a link to Pat McManamon's story that doesn't require registration. The Associated Press has picked up the story, using WTAM as a source. Policy, in a quote replayed via WTAM, says that marketing guru Collins has "a passion for football" and has "never worked at the club level". It is assumed that more on Collins will come out during this afternoon's press conference.
UPDATE 7:45AM: John Collins, who was identified this morning as Carmen Policy's replacement, is currently Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales with the NFL. Here are a few examples of his appearances in the press: Football Courts Younger Fans (USA Today), Visa Renews Successful Partnership with NFL (Press Release), Gatorade Renews Sponsorship with NFL (Press Release).
UPDATE 7:30AM: During an interview on radio station WTAM, Policy announced that he would step into a role of "executive advisor" at the end of the season, essentially serving as a consultant. John Collins, currently with the NFL in New York, has been named to replace Policy. It hasn't been stated whether or not Collins is a temporary or permanent replacement. Policy will hold a press conference at 3PM.
NEWS FLASH 7AM: In a surprise announcement, Browns Team President Carmen Policy is to announce his retirement from the Cleveland Browns this afternoon. The news came first from Pat McManamon of the Akron Beacon-Journal (registration required) this morning. This morning, Policy confirmed the reports and added details on local radio station WTAM.
The announcement was hinted at two days ago in a story by Peter King of Sports Illustrated.