With soon-to-be Browns owner Jimmy Haslam taking over, the early wave of speculation has centered on the future of the front office and coaching staffs.
But with the Browns as presently constructed, a new administration is in an interesting spot in terms of personnel as well.
In the last four months, the Browns have drafted a new franchise running back (Trent Richardson), a new starting quarterback (Brandon Weeden) and used next year’s second on a big-play wide receiver (Josh Gordon) in the Supplemental Draft.
What if the new regime Haslam installs cares for none of them?
“I don’t even think about it because what we’re doing here is hard enough,” Weeden told Jason Cole of Yahoo.com. “We don’t need that added pressure. Stuff goes on inside these buildings that is beyond our control that we have to ignore. We have so much on our plate. …
“I have so much on my plate, the last thing I have to pay attention to is stuff that’s outside my control.”
Cole pointed out the way former Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt once ran Ricky Williams into the ground in an effort to save his job, and wonders if Pat Shurmur might do the same with Richardson.
Weeden, the 28-year-old rookie who’s back in football after a stint in minor league baseball, knows how to tiptoe around the boss. He recalled coming home from a minor league game in Lakeland, but being shooed out of the locker room without a shower because George Steinbrenner was working out and in a bad mood.
While there’s no indication Haslam’s going to be anything like Steinbrenner, the reality is he’ll bring his own guys with him. And that new decision-maker might not care for the parts Holmgren has assembled, which could turn the Browns into a long rebuild.
Considering that’s what they’ve looked like the last decade, it might be hard to tell the difference.
But that essentially makes this a one-year audition for Weeden in particular, and puts more pressure on a rookie class than would already be there.