A source close to Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner tells the OBR today that the owner has spoken to Packers and Seahawks GM /Coach Mike Holmgren "a couple of times" over the course of "the last couple of weeks". The source confirmed that there has been no offer made to Holmgren, but that "the interest is there from both sides."
It's believed Lerner would like his new "voice" in place by the end of this month, but there is no stringent timetable on a hire - as it's known that this decision is the most important one the organization has made since its return in 1999.
Holmgren is "very intrigued by the situation in Cleveland," but hasn't decided if he wants the job if he's offered it. Additionally, Lerner has not definitively decided that Holmgren is definitely the guy he wants, although that's the direction it's heading and in a hurry.
If Holmgren does come here, he would want to have the ability to hire whomever he wants as his GM, and he also wants to have the authority to evaluate Eric Mangini and, if need be, to hire his own coach if his evaluation leads to that conclusion. That's not believed to be a sticking point for Lerner.
There are a lot of moving parts to this whole situation -- some that don't even involve Holmgren -- but there is a very good chance that Holmgren is offered the position at some point between now and the end of the month.
Don't put it in stone just yet, but you can write it down in really, really dark pencil.
EXECS ON THE LIST: Now, a few notes unrelated specifically to Holmgren but related to what the Browns are looking at to fill their executive void...
The Lerner source relays that Lerner has also spoken to former NFL general manager and current CBS insider Charlie Casserly on one occasion "recently." Additionally, there have been feelers put out to current Atlanta Falcons executive Rich McKay and/or his people, but there has been no direct contact between the two sides.
A league source believes that, given how the situation unfolded earlier this year when McKay was under consideration for a job in the Browns front office, and how he would've had Mangini foisted upon him with very little input -- that the Falcons exec would "probably" not consider the job. It would not be ruled out completely, however, depending on the "parameters" of the power associated with the new position.
If McKay were offered the job and did accept, however, the source said that "the first [very bad word] thing he would do -- before he unpacked any boxes -- would be to fire that [another very bad word] Mangini."
Whither Floyd Reese? The ex-Tennessee Titans GM and current New England Patriots senior football advisor is a name that's come up in regards to this "voice" position, and for good reason. The Lerner source tells the OBR that the highly-respected exec is one of the names under consideration by the owner. We have not been able to ascertain whether there has been any direct or third-party contacts between Reese and Lerner.
NO ARTICLE IS COMPLETE WITHOUT MENTIONING QUARTERBACKS: The source for the above post also stated that Holmgren "really likes" Brady Quinn "from what he's seen and knows of him." Supposedly, Holmgren remarked recently that Quinn is "an ideal West Coast kind of quarterback."
Obviously, this is an indication that Holmgren has at least looked into the current situation in Cleveland and where the Browns stand personnel-wise as both sides attempt to figure out if this will be a marriage that could work.