There are some things you just want to kill before they even get started, and in this case, you can tell that the Cleveland Browns have just about had it with Jason La Canfora's repeated attacks against the organization this offseason.
Around 4:00 PM ET on Monday, La Canfora published an article about the future ownership of the Tennessee Titans. Instead of just focusing on the Titans, though, La Canfora found a way to shoe horn the Browns into the mix -- the primary headline was, "Titans sale getting closer, but don't rule out Haslam swapping Browns," and the lead photograph was of team owner Jimmy Haslam.
La Canfora first goes on about how Haslam's dream was to own the Titans, but that he settled for the Browns because of the difficulty involved with securing the ownership rights to an NFL franchise -- when the opportunity is there, you have to take it. He also says that Dave Tepper, who owns 5% of the Steelers, is a candidate to buy the Titans. I'll quote the rest of what La Canfora said:
And there remain rumblings of one bizarre, remote possibility, which would involve a complicated franchise switch. ... In [Haslam's] perfect world, however, if someone other than Tepper ends up with the Titans, several highly-placed sources have suggested there might be backroom talks of a potential franchise swap with the Browns (Tepper is a Pittsburgh guy through and through, and would never want to own their rival in the Browns). It would be, ultimately, probably impossible, but it's a dynamic other owners are watching and many interested parties will be monitoring.
"Don't ignore the possibility of a swap with the Browns when that time comes," said one source who deals directly with many ownership groups. Some tax issues could prevent the Titans sale from happening as quickly as some others -- the Browns and Bills have changed hands quite quickly in recent years -- but make no mistake this has become more of a front-burner issue now with the NFL, and it would certainly behoove the NFL to have it wrapped up in 2015.
First off, I have to pick a bone with trying to fit a sentence like, "It would be, ultimately, probably impossible..." into a report. Seriously? Let's fast-forward to the Browns' response a little over an hour later, via a team spokesman:
#Browns spokesman on Haslam/Titans report: "100 percent false. There is no truth to the careless speculation from this reporter."— PatMcManamon (@PatMcManamon) March 23, 2015
In fantasy land, I'm sure Haslam would love to own the Titans. Why wouldn't he? He brags about the state of Tennessee every chance he gets. This is something so off-the-wall from happening, though, that it puts the focus more on La Canfora's continued agenda against the Browns than it does cause any dissension in Berea.