Jimmy Haslam is officially the owner of the Browns, and that means things are changing in the front office.
Browns President Mike Holmgren will retire at the end of this season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. That’s no surprise: Given the lack of success the Browns have had under Holmgren, it would have been much more surprising if a new owner had kept Holmgren in town. Although this is being termed a retirement, it’s unlikely that Haslam would have given Holmgren the option of staying to run the draft and free agency in 2013.
And as expected, former Eagles President Joe Banner is the Browns’ new CEO effective immediately. That means Banner is the new boss of both General Manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur. Barring a major turnaround this season, it would seem highly likely that Banner and Haslam will bring in their own guys after the season, and that Heckert and Shurmur will be on the way out as well. Heckert and Shurmur have the advantage that they were with Banner in Philadelphia, but it may be a tough sell for a new owner to keep a coach and G.M. who went 4-12 last year and have started 1-5 this year.
The reality in the NFL is that owners don’t spend a billion dollars so they can let someone else’s choice run their football teams. As soon as Haslam made the deal to buy the team, the writing was on the wall for the men running the team. Big changes are coming in Cleveland.