When new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced on Monday that he’s returning to his previous job as CEO of Pilot Flying J, it raised questions about whether he’s going to be too much of a hands-off owner. But Haslam insists that’s not going to be the case.
Which may raise questions about whether he’s going to be too much of a hands-on owner.
Haslam told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’s going to be heavily involved in all key decisions, including the draft and free agency.
“I’ll be there after the Combine when we analyze the Combine, and finalize our free agent plans which I believe the key dates are March 12-16,” Haslam said. “The next really two and a half months, free agency and the draft are vitally important to the Cleveland Browns and we’re going to be heavily involved.”
Haslam said he will be involved when the team is visiting with prospective free agents, and that he’ll be involved in the discussions about how the Browns spend their first-round draft pick.
“And when we bring in key free agents, I’ve got the dates blocked out that I need to be up there and when zero in on who our key draft picks are going to be, especially our first round pick, we’ll be heavily involved in meeting those individuals to make sure we not only get a great player but the kind of person we want to represent the Cleveland Browns,” Haslam said.
Haslam’s comments come across as though he’s trying to reassure Browns fans that he won’t be the kind of absentee owner that his predecessor, Randy Lerner, was. He may also want to reassure Browns fans that when it’s time to make a football decision, he’ll leave that to the football people.