From ATI: On Holmgren...

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Bill Brasky 09: Browns' leverage vs. Holmgren's leverage... Who wins the leverage battle? Lerner has folks who will be coming available like Cowher, Reese, possibly McKay, possibly Heckert - all quality folks. Holmgren has Seattle 'possibly' wanting him, but maybe not considering their little Search Firm exercise.  Holmgren doesn't seem to be fond of the Skins' approach w/ his boy Zorn.  Holmgren doesn't seem to be keen on the Bills. 

Which side has more leverage, and does Lerner have enough leverage to get Holmgren to make concessions in negotiations? 

Lane Adkins: I would say there are more quality candidates than quality opportunities. From what I am hearing, the financial end of a proposed offer/deal could be astronomical -- over 8 million a year for no less than five years.

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Colt212: If Lerner and Holmgren see each other as a fit, what's the holdup? Mangini isn't being forced on Holmgrem is he ? How long do you see this lasting?

Lane: With a deal of this magnitude, there are a great number of issues to address, specifics to iron out, as well as all the language and compensation.

This is a complex hire and one which does not simply become official on a whim.

I'm not going into the Mangini thing, as I have heard nothing which leads me to believe this is an issue -- whether it is or not, we are looking into the possibility.

Barry: In addition to Lane's comments, I'd add that we've been reporting for several weeks that the "Mangini being forced on the new team president" statements are false from everything we can tell. 

We've also been telling folks that the statement made last week that candidates are slamming the door in Lerner's face was false. That was proven out today. I'm confident that the other will prove out as well. 

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bb813: If Holmgren leaves town can we still expect the process to continue? Or are we looking in a different direction at that point?

Lane: Couldn't tell you with any certainty, only know that this is not a dead or officially done deal.

Barry: Just to elaborate on Lane's take, "it depends"... Holmgren doesn't need to be in town to finish the deal. The question is whether remaining impediments have to do with the deal structure (which requires LaMonte and a telephone, not Holmgren) or responsibilities and philosophy. Plus, as with most people making decisions of this type, both sides may need some time to themselves to determine if they feel comfortable with the proposed arrangement.

Since what we know at this time is that the process is continuing, and that the deal is neither done or dead, our next step is to find out what they're working on to resolve things one way or another. That's the next key item of data, and what will tell you whether or not Holmgren's leaving town means anything.

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FunkyDawg: Leverage for Seattle, or too much Mangini for Holmgren?  Did Lerner "f" this up?  Who's next?

Lane: I have yet to hear either to be the case.

Barry: I'm going to go a little further than Lane based on what I've been able to piece together and suggest that some of your concerns (too much Mangini, Lerner screwing it up) aren't things to worry about at this point. 

The reasons being that (1) We don't have proof Holmgren has left town yet and (2) Don't really know if it's a negative thing if he has. Until we get detail about the conversations (Lane's Insider Blog post is the closest thing out there yet), we won't be able to reach any conclusions there. 

I do think that there's an aspect of this that could involve leverage for Seattle. I don't think that leverage would be able money or pushing Holmgren to the center of the picture. I think it would be about power. 

At present, Holmgren's a favorite of the owner in Seattle, but the fanbase isn't falling over itself to bring him back. In addition, Holmgren's approach may clash with that of the Seahawks CEO. Let me quote Doug Farrar from an item I put in the Insider Blog:

If Lerner is going to be hands-off on the new football ops guy, that may be the tiebreaker in Cleveland's favor. Seahawks CEO Tod Lieweke has said that he wants a more "collaborative" (read: malleable) prez/GM as opposed to someone who's going to come in and blow everything up. Despite the fact that the Seahawks obviously need a few sticks of dynamite. I think Holmgren wants the Seattle gig above all as his family's still in the area and he obviously knows the lay of the land, but control will be the key. I don't know if he'll get it here.

In other words, the message to Seattle probably isn't just "I can get a high-paying job if I want", it's also "These guys will let me run the show". 

For someone like Holmgren, as Doug points out, that could be the key thing driving him to talk to Cleveland.  

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Browns49: Since Holmgren and Weis have the same agent, LaMonte, could the hold up be in getting it arranged for Charlie to come on board as OC?

Lane: I have not heard anything regarding Weis as the Holmgren discussions have heated up.

Barry: It would be an interesting prospect. As Lane states, there's nothing tying the two together at this point.

There are two other things to consider. First, Holmgren and Weis have different offensive philosophies. That's not to say that they couldn't be blended, but they're both individuals who have a lifetime of success on the offensive side of the ball and do things differently. That might not bode well for a team-up. The other notion to ponder is that Holmgren may not elect to get involved deeply in decisions about the coaching staff - we don't know how he would run things yet - and might defer a great deal to his head coach to say who he wants to work with, assuming he has confidence in that individual.

We saw in the Savage/Crennel era what happened when the GM pushes coaches into the staff when the head coach may or may not want to work with them.

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MrBlond: Did Lerner reach out to Cowher and/or Parcells. All the talk the last week or so has focused on Lerner's fascination of Cowher and Parcells as Holmgren has been linked more to Seattle. Now, what seems to be out of the blue, talks seem to be underway between Lerner and Holmgren.

 

The czar hire originally looked like it would get done fast, and then everything slowed down, leading to speculaton that Lerner had reached out to others and performing the appropriate due diligence.

 

Do you think Lerner has reached out to Cowher and/or Parcells, and was told something to the effect of "no," which has caused him to turn the heat up o his pursuit of Holmgren?

Lane: I have not received anything rock solid to this point to tell me Lerner has engaged in any meaningful discussion with either man. Holmgren is a name which has been tied to Lerner from day-one and nothing has significantly changed.

Barry: Floyd Reese is another name that was popular for a day or two in the media. We've written that there has been backchannel discussions with a variety of people, although Lane points out that it's hard to tell how intense those have been. Since we try to deal in fact here, we have to say that there is nothing on either individual which proves that there have been deep discussions (sightings, reports of interviews, multiple sources claiming agreements, etc).

Keep in mind that the only difference between Holmgren and other candidates at this point is that someone saw them at a restaurant. That's it. Once that was out there, the team admitted Holmgren was in town and other bits started to show up as journalists worked the subject. That doesn't prove that others are out of the mix yet.

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Redright: Who would come in and say Mangini is my guy for head coach? Can't think of anyone who would approve of his offense. Cant think of anyone who wouldn't look at the defense and say Ryan did a good job, but it's Ryan's defense.

 

Lane: I don't believe any reasonable and experienced football man would come in and only judge the immediate product. In most cases when a major hire in the GM to VP area occurs, the HC generally exits the equation.

Barry: The most significant reason to keep Mangini at this point is because otherwise the team will waste a ton of money eating his contract. Don't shrug that off just because Lerner has a reputation as someone who will spend whatever it takes. That (and the owner's reputation as having hand-selected Mangini) should be enough to get the current head coach a fair hearing. It might not be enough to keep his job, but for someone without a personal history with Mangini or a vested interest in the coaching job (e.g., Cowher/Colbert), he'll probably get a chance to state his case. Holmgren has neither.

Lerner isn't forcing the head coach on anyone, but someone who wants this job would probably be somewhat better received by being open-minded on the subject. I believe that Holmgren would legitimately consider Mangini on his merits as a football coach and make the decision based on that. It may be for or against Mangini, but I don't buy the assertions made by some in the national media that Mangini's ouster is a fait accompli.

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