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Rumors fly (again) of Browns sale

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The folks at ESPN 850 in Cleveland are mongering a “giant” rumor that the Browns are in the process of being sold.  Tony Rizzo of ESPN 850 isn’t reporting (yet) that there’s a deal in place, but he says there is “smoke and fire” and that no one from the Browns has gotten back to him about the situation.

It’s not the first time this year the Browns have been linked to talk of a transfer of title.

Last month, after Joe Banner resigned as president of the Eagles and declared an intent to get involved in an ownership group elsewhere, Howard Eskin of NBC 10 in Philly said that Banner could try to buy the Browns, Bills, or Rams.

The Browns are not for sale,” spokesman Neal Gulkis said on June 7.  (Of course, that technically would be true, if the Browns already are/were in the process of being sold.)

We’ve sent Neal an email requesting a fresh statement in the wake of the ESPN 850 report/rumor.

The franchise has been owned by Randy Lerner since the passing of his father, Al.  But the younger Lerner never has seemed to embrace the role.  Thus, it won’t be a surprise if the team is sold, at some point.

Unless it already has been.

While it’s not easy to keep transactions like this under wraps until it’s official, it’s not unprecedented.  Last year, the sale of the Jaguars to Shahid Khan came out of nowhere, and it quickly was a done deal.

And so it’s possible to keep these matters under wraps.  Especially if everyone involved in the process is committed to denying that the team is for sale.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m. ET:  Lerner has issued a statement on the subject.  Yep, there’s something to it.

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13 Responses to “Rumors fly (again) of Browns sale”
  1. dawglb says: Jul 27, 2012 9:52 AM

    I think Joe Banner would be a good step for Cleveland. I’d like to see that happen.

  2. ironcity330 says: Jul 27, 2012 9:57 AM

    New owner same results. Maybe with new owners they can win 5 games. Package the Browns with the Indians and get Dolans out of town!!!

  3. liamj55 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:00 AM

    The franchise has been owned by Randy Lerner since the passing of his father, Al. But the younger Lerner never has seemed to embrace the role. – Man would I do anything to be in that position. I would surely be embracing. Instead it goes to a guy who could care less. World works in funny ways…

  4. latchbeam says: Jul 27, 2012 10:05 AM

    No one has gotten back to anyone at 850 because no one from the Browns lines 850… The station starts false rumors all the time. Lerner was just on 1100 and said he wasn’t going to sell the team any time soon. END OF STORY.

  5. ihateravens says: Jul 27, 2012 10:12 AM

    The Browns need a change no matter what. This rag-tag franchise needs a break. New ownership can only help.

  6. patriots123456 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:13 AM

    Is it a Pop Warner Team that is buying out the Browns?

  7. richheddleson says: Jul 27, 2012 10:13 AM

    A Steeler minority owner, Jimmy Haslam, has been confirmed to be the interested buyer. A Steeler fan may own the Browns. Not a good day for Browns fans!

  8. regisphilbin says: Jul 27, 2012 10:14 AM

    Cant be that hard to keep it under wraps. Who knew who Shad Khan was before it was announced that he was buying the Jags?

  9. bigzant82 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:14 AM


  10. threedeep1998 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:39 AM

    I’m not a Browns fan but it’d be sad if they left. Classic franchise even if they are pt.2 version.

  11. godofwine330 says: Jul 27, 2012 11:07 AM

    Browns fans have been hoping he would sell for years. Get the bum out of town. He doesn’t have the stones for it and he is content with the team selling out every week regardless of the quality of the product because we want a quality product so badly. Kind of like Michael Bay, if people will pay for a bad product, why should I spend so much more money to produce a good product?

    I want Lerner gone, and most Browns fans agree.

  12. handsofsweed says: Jul 27, 2012 11:10 AM

    Steelers fans ALREADY own the Browns, their fans and their stadium, richhedleson. Where have you been the last 22 years?

  13. tombrookshire says: Jul 27, 2012 12:32 PM

    Who wouldn’t want to pocket a billion dollars for a football team? Banner would be a good executive for them and would quickly make changes that would reverse the fortunes of the Browns. No future there for Holmgren, however.

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