Yes, the Browns already have introduced Jimmy Haslam as the new owner. No, the transaction isn’t official yet.
The NFL still has to approve the move. Haslam, who as mentioned in the one-liners hung out in the Dawg Pound on Friday night, said during the broadcast of the Eagles-Browns game that the league’s owners will take a vote during a meeting set for the middle of October. Haslam added that, if the sale is approved, it would become official in late October.
The fact that the owners previously approved Haslam to purchase a double-digit piece of the Steelers makes the vote a formality. The fact that the sale from Randy Lerner to Haslam was brokered at the league-office level makes approval a virtual certainty.
Of course, Haslam may want to be more discreet until the ballots are cast. He remarked during his time in the broadcast booth with Jim Donovan and Bernie Kosar that the replacement officials made a bad call by throwing a roughing the passer flag that wiped out a pick six for Cleveland.
The delayed approval may have significant relevance to the future of team president Mike Holmgren. If his contract contains a golden-parachute provision like the one Bill Parcells got from former Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, Holmgren will have a specific period of time after the sale becomes official to decide whether to pull the rip cord.
Parcells had 30 days to exercise the ability to walk away with full pay over the balance of his deal. He parlayed that into the ongoing ability to leave whenever he decided to leave, and to collect the rest of his cash.
Holmgren’s window (if he has a similar provision) would possibly close before the end of the 2012 season.