As expected, the Browns have announced the hiring of Eagles G.M. Tom Heckert, who’ll fill the same role in Cleveland.
As not expected, the Browns also have announced that Bryan Wiedmeier has been named Executive V.P. — Business Operations of the Browns.
Wiedmeier has spent 29 years with the Dolphins. He served as President and COO prior to the sale of the team to Stephen Ross. Wiedmeier thereafter was reassigned to Senior V.P. — NFL Affairs and Special Projects, and it became clear that Wiedmeier eventually would be exiting.
Heckert’s decision to leave the Eagles for a lateral position comes two years after owner Jeffrey Lurie recommended Heckert to the Falcons for a G.M. position that would have entailed control over the roster. And it clears a path for Philly to thin out the front office a bit, and to shift Howie Roseman from V.P. of player personnel to G.M.
“I want to thank Randy Lerner and Mike Holmgren for this tremendous opportunity,” Heckert said in a team-issued release. “I also want to thank Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid and Joe Banner for an outstanding nine-year run with a first-class organization. It was the Eagles who allowed me to climb the NFL personnel ladder, and I am proud of what we were able to accomplish there. I will always have fond memories of my stay in Philadelphia. I am eager to get started with the Browns, a team for which my father worked and that I rooted for growing up. Working alongside some of the most experienced and successful people in this business in Mike [Holmgren], Eric Mangini and Bryan, I believe we have the foundation in place to re-establish the Browns as one of the top franchises in the NFL.”
If the Browns are serious about becoming one of the top franchises in the NFL, a good way to start would be to pay former G.M. George Kokinis — and the new G.M. should take the lead in making sure that Kokinis is properly taken care of.
UPDATE: The Dolphins have issued a statement acknowledging Wiedmeier’s departure.
“It is with mixed emotions that we accept the resignation of Bryan Wiedmeier,” Miami CEO Mike Dee said. “Bryan’s contributions to the Dolphin franchise during almost three decades of service to the team were extraordinary and he will always remain a significant part of Dolphin history. While he will be sorely missed, we are excited for Bryan, his wife, Mary, and their family for his new opportunity in Cleveland and we wish him the very best with his new endeavor. We look forward to welcoming Bryan back next fall when the Browns come to Miami.”