We are beyond words...but in a good way. You think you've seen it all in Cleveland sports, but the Browns have added another layer to their storied history:
Browns promoted Ray Farmer to GM, have let go of Michael Lombardi and are having Joe Banner transition out of organization in next 2 months.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 11, 2014
Lombardi Rumors Began Last Week; Manning Influence
When did the Michael Lombardi rumors start floating around, and did Peyton Manning have an influence on Jimmy Haslam dismissing Joe Banner?
That's right, folks: Jimmy Haslam apparently, the reputation of the Browns' front office wasn't so media-inspired after all, as the Browns have parted ways with general manager Michael Lombardi. Now, maybe it's a bit clearer why Ray Farmer turned down an opportunity to be the Dolphins' general manager, as he will take his place. In terms of league-wide respect, Farmer has it.
The surprising element here is Banner, who will be "transitioned out of the organization in the next two months." Yes, he was viewed as part of the problem, but he also seemed to help bring some other good front office people to the organization.
Team president Alec Scheiner, who has been viewed positively, will take over the business operations, according to Haslam. Scheiner was instrumental in making the stadium changes happen and has been very welcoming to fans, including us here at Dawgs By Nature.
Word Around the League
Source - Haslam had meeting with staff in Berea about 15 mins ago; Farmer, Scheiner & Pettine will report directly to Haslam— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) February 11, 2014
Fwiw after spending some time with Ray down in Mobile.. I was blown away with his football knowledge. Feel real good about this move.— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) February 11, 2014
A high level league source informed me at the Senior Bowl that Lombardi would be out in Cleveland....— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) February 11, 2014
The plus side is that we are done with an awful FO. The downside is that we just wasted another year-plus with another FO.— Dawgs By Nature (@DawgsByNature) February 11, 2014
Mult sources tell me Michael Lombardi and Joe Banner are "devastated" and "were blindsided" by the announcement #Browns— Will Burge (@WillBurge) February 11, 2014
Word was rampant that owner Jimmy Haslam was embarrassed by how the Browns were viewed locally in January. Change was coming.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 11, 2014
Banner/Lombardi failed to deliver on promises made about who they would be able get after firing Chud. Sunk themselves.— Jason Cole (@JasonPhilCole) February 11, 2014
What does #Browns upheaval mean for the future of Mike Pettine? Source says new GM Ray Farmer wasn’t present during head coach interviews— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 11, 2014
Statement Released by Jimmy Haslam
"First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer. Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.
"We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.
"Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.
"We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.
"The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved."
Statement Released by Joe Banner
"It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward."
React: Did the Browns Make the Right Move?
I'm not a fan of shaking up front offices year-after-year, but the fans doubted the hirings of Banner and Lombardi from the beginning, and having Farmer and Scheiner in place as their replacements sounds like a pretty damn good combination, doesn't it? Vote in the poll below to let us know your reaction to the news.
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