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Who is JW Johnson? Jason La Canfora says he’ll play a key role in the Browns’ reshuffling

A brief look at a possible new figure in the Browns’ organization.

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone here knows what we think of Jason La Canfora, so this post isn’t really about that re-hashing. While he reported on the disconnect with the Cleveland Browns’ front office, he finished his article with the following previously-unheard nugget on someone named JW Johnson. Who is that?

League sources said ownership has already starting talking internally about how to move forward with a new regime in 2018. Owner Jimmy Haslam's son-in-law, JW Johnson, has continued to take a more hands-on role with the club, sources said, and he will be an integral figure in the reshuffling of the franchise, along with Haslam's wife, Dee, who is considered by many inside and outside of the organization to be the most powerful figure in the Browns hierarchy.

Here is what I could gather about Johnson’s background:

  • He has a background in journalism and multimedia. He was an associate director/producer for CBS Sports for 15 years before becoming a Strategic Wholesale Sales Manager at Pilot Flying J from 2009-2013.
  • After that, he joined RIVR Media, and then founded 3 Sons Media, a company that has developed a lot of in-game video packages for the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans.
  • Jimmy and Dee Haslam have three children — one son and two daughters. Johnson is married to one of their daughters, Whitney Haslam-Johnson. She was promoted to Chief Experience Officer at Pilot Flying J this year, and has been with the company since 2005. It appears that JW and Whitney got married in 2013.
  • Interestingly enough, Johnson has a Twitter account. While he doesn’t tweet a ton about the Browns, after everyone made fun of the team’s botched trade last week, he said, “The deal didn’t happen and that’s business. Again Everyone Relax! Go Browns.” He also responded to an NFL.com columnist referencing the Browns as a dumpster fire with, “Have a little class and remember you work for the NFL!”
  • Back in January, he also made it evident he wasn't a fan of La Canfora, saying, "Little people with little problems -- he'll be out of a job soon." and "This guy is a clown! #ZeroRespect"
  • You can see a photo of him below from Dee Haslam’s Facebook page — Johnson is on the far left, with his wife next to him and then Jimmy and Dee beside them.
Posted by Dee Haslam on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

There’s no telling whether Johnson will actually have more involvement with the workings of the franchise moving forward, as La Canfora insinuates. But, if his name starts coming up more, at least we have a little bit of background information on who he is.