Kokinis Out As GM

Sources have confirmed to the OBR this evening that George Kokinis is no longer General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. Here's the very latest... UPDATE 10:46 PM - Browns release statement on Kokinis

The rumblings have been out there the entire afternoon, and now theOBR can confirm them as true.

George Kokinis is no longer the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

An organizational source has confirmed to theOBR that Kokinis was indeed out, but refused to say whether the parting was a firing, a resignation or a mutual parting of ways.

Emails sent to the Browns prior to 5PM this evening looking for confirmation have not been returned as of this time.

According to multiple sources, Kokinis was escorted out of the Browns' Berea facility earlier today by a member of the organization's human resources department.  Additionally, one rumor making the rounds is that Lew Merletti was seen in the front of the Berea facility's interior, presumably to ensure that Kokinis had indeed vacated the premises.

TheOBR has not been able to confirm Merletti's presence as part of Kokinis' departure.

It's uncertain at this point in time what the Browns will do about the GM opening for the immediate future, but several sources indicate that the hiring of a person in a president-type role "could happen sooner rather than later."

There continues to be rumblings that there's been increased chatter between owner Randy Lerner, newly-anointed consultant Bernie Kosar and Ernie Accorsi.

What's unclear is whether the chatter involving Accorsi centers around bringing the longtime NFL executive back into the game in an official capacity with the Browns, or whether he's simply taken on a more expanded advisory role.

Lerner leaned heavily on Accorsi before the hiring of Eric Mangini and Kokinis, and Accorsi signed off on both hires.

UPDATE 10:46 PM -- The Browns have release a statement on Kokinis' status:

Cleveland Browns General Manager George Kokinis is no longer actively involved with the organization. In response to rumors and reports that Kokinis was escorted out of the building today, the Browns deny those reports. In the interest of protecting the parties involved we will withhold further comment.

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