The NFL has determined that the Cleveland Browns did not intentionally set out to lose games while rebuilding the roster in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The league issued a statement on Monday that after a 60-day review by a team of independent investigators that was led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White that there is “no evidence” that the Browns lost on purpose.
More on the NFL’s determination that, unlike Hue Jackson’s claims, the Browns did not tank games: pic.twitter.com/jRIFRgzDfo— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 2, 2022
The NFL opened the investigation after former head coach Hue Jackson, who went 3-36-1 during his tenure with the Browns from 2016 to 2018, made allegations that he and members of the front office received financial incentives tied to losing games.
In the end, it turned into just another loss on Jackson’s record as the NFL determined that “none of the allegations could be substantiated.” The statement reads in part:
“Following a 60-day independent review into comments made by former Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson that the Browns paid or otherwise provided incentives to lose games during the 2016-17 seasons, former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White and a team of lawyers from the Debevoise firm determined that none of the allegations could be substantiated.
“The investigation found no evidence to suggest that the Browns’ Four-Year Plan or the club’s ownership or football personnel sought to lose or incentivized losses and made no decisions deliberately to weaken the team to secure a more favorable draft position.”
Despite making the allegations that started the who affair, Jackson did not meet with the investigators.
The Browns, however, did find the time to issue a statement (text via ESPN):
“We appreciate the independent investigation led by Mary Jo White and the Debevoise team which brings closure to these allegations that Hue Jackson publicly recanted shortly after they were made and that we’ve known all along are categorically false,” the Browns said in a statement. “As we’ve previously stated, we welcomed this investigation because the integrity of our game is something that should not be taken lightly and an independent review was crucial in bringing a conclusion to this matter.”
Hopefully, this finally puts an end to everything related to Jackson’s time with the Browns.