Wow. If you would have asked me this morning how confident I was that head coach Rob Chudzinski would be back in 2014, I would have laughed at you and said that I was 100% confident that he would be back. It's not that I thought Chudzinski was a tremendous coach, but this was his first season, and the front office seemed to have no plans of replacing him. After a day's worth of rumors, though, reports have surfaced that Chudzinski has indeed been fired:
The browns have fired Rob Chudzinski. Just let him go
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 30, 2013
A little bit later, the team confirmed the news:
BREAKING: The Browns have relieved Head Coach Rob Chudzinski of his duties, the organization announced Sunday night.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 30, 2013
I'm sure Chudzinski is upset that he was fired and might never get another head coaching opportunity again, but it's not a total loss for him. He still has three years left on his contract, so team owner Jimmy Haslam will be paying him roughly $9 million over the next three years for doing absolutely nothing. My belief is that he could also double dip with another coaching opportunity next season -- perhaps as a tight ends coach or an offensive coordinator -- for another team, without losing out on that money.
The Browns also released the following statement, explaining why Chudzinski was relieved of his duties:
"We appreciate Chud’s passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally. We needed to see progress with this football team. We needed to see development and improvement as the season evolved and, unfortunately, we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year.
"Our fans deserve to see a consistently competitive team. We have high standards, and there’s an urgency for success. When we believed we were not positioned to achieve significant progress in 2014, we knew we had to admit that a change was needed, and move forward.
"Browns fans are the most loyal and passionate supporters in the NFL. We’re fully committed to bringing them the winning football team they deserve."
Stay tuned to Dawgs By Nature, as we will have all of the latest news and updates on the team's coaching situation, what this means for the assistant coaches, and who the team could have in mind to be their next head coach. You can follow our stream on the Browns' head coaching situation here.