The Browns will likely contact the New York Giants this week -- perhaps as early as tomorrow -- and request permission to speak to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, a Browns source has told The OBR. A New York source added that word has drifted to them that the Browns will be one of five teams who will request permission to speak to the 49-year-old coach.
The heavy pursuit of New England Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli could affect any talks with the coordinator, though. Before the Browns interview anyone, including Spagnuolo, they would like to get their general manager in place so that he can be a part of the hiring process from the start. However, if the Browns are closing in on a Pioli hire, and he's on board with a Spagnuolo interview, the organization will pull the trigger on talks even as an official hiring has not yet taken place.
Now, as far as Eric Mangini coming to Cleveland along with Pioli, either as a head coach or as a defensive coordinator under Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. According to one source, "don't downplay the animosity that exists between the Patriots organization -- including Pioli -- and Mangini."
The source was referring to the whole Spygate brouhaha, which began when Mangini blew the whistle on New England's illegal videotaping practices.
"There is a lot of contempt for (Mangini) in that (the Patriots) organization, and not all of it comes from (Bill) Belichick," the source added.