For the second time in as many years, a new face will take on the role of Director of Player Engagement for the Cleveland Browns.
According to both Cleveland.com and Ohio.com, Jamil Northcutt, the current Director of Player Engagement, will part ways with the team in a few weeks. The story surfaced late last week, as an unnamed source(s) passed on the unofficial news.
According to the source(s), the Browns will name the successor in a few weeks or so.
Northcutt accepted the role late last April before the draft. Before coming to Cleveland, Northcutt spent six years at the University of Mississippi as the assistant athletics director for internal operations. Before holding this position, Northcutt worked for the Chiefs as player development coordinator from 2005-08. Current Browns general manager Ray Farmer also worked for Kansas City during that time, as Farmer was a member of the Chiefs' front office from 2006-2012.
Northcutt did not have much public presence, but he did speak to his hometown newspaper -- The Tullahoma News in Tennessee -- last October, providing interesting insight into his role:
"We are basically managing the players in the locker room," Northcutt said. "We have 63 players, so we serve as the liaison with internal and external constituents. What that means is, they could be our player personnel staff, corporate sponsorships and their staff, community relations and their staffs and fan development and their staffs. Anybody wanting to get in touch with the players, they come through our office. We also counsel these players," he said. "We administer programs from them, including continuing education, career development, financial education and other things. We not only offer those services to the guys coming into our organizations, but also players that are exiting the National Football League or our organization. So, we offer those opportunities to them."
Prior to Northcutt's arrival, the Browns fired Aaron Shea in March 2014, likely because he leaked team information. Shea stepped into the role in 2011 following the departure of Jerry Butler, who held the position for 12 years.
Cleveland.com's Tom Reed wrote: "It's believed the club could fill the opening by promoting from within the organization." Based on the team's promotion of Shea in 2011, that's a definite possibility, especially with the season quickly approaching.
Either way, the new Director of Player Engagement will likely have close ties to Farmer, since the person in this position works so closely with the players and general manager.