With a trip to Detroit for a game that carries with it the opportunity to screw up the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, some are thinking that, if the Browns lose to the 1-8 Lions, coach Eric Mangini could be getting the Dick Jauron treatment.
Not so, says owner Randy Lerner.
“I plan on sticking with Eric,” Lerner told the News-Herald by e-mail on Tuesday.
So barring a string of 103-0 losses, it appears that Mangini will finish the year. After that, however, it would be a shock if he returns.
We also can’t help but wonder whether Lerner quietly is building a case for firing Mangini “with cause.” The fact that the Browns applied such an approach to former G.M. George Kokinis suggests that no one is immune — and the involvement of Mangini in several different controversies provides plenty of smoke. Somewhere, there’s likely a flame that would seemingly disqualify Mangini from ongoing payments.
At this point, it’s unknown whether Mangini has done anything to justify termination “with cause.” But, surely, Lerner is looking, and waiting, for proof that would allow the blunder from January 2009 to be rectified not only quickly, but also cheaply.