Holmgren’s exit makes plenty of sense


It was a surprise, and yet it wasn’t, that new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced on Tuesday that team president Mike Holmgren will retire at the end of the year.

Holmgren was hired to be the surrogate owner for Randy Lerner, who wanted nothing to do with being an owner.  Now that the team is owned by an owner who wants to be an owner, the Browns no longer need a guy who is essentially pretending to be the owner.

That’s pretty much what the new owner said on Tuesday.

“Mike has decided with our becoming the owner that his role would obviously change a lot,” Haslam said.  “Mike was brought in to be the President and I think in a lot of ways the de facto owner and with us coming in and taking a more active role, Mike has decided to, effective at the end of the year, to leave the Cleveland Browns and to retire.  Mike will work very closely with us over the next three or four months to ensure that this transition goes as well as possible.  Mike and I have had numerous long talks and I know that he has been and still is committed to doing everything he can to help make the Cleveland Browns a better football team.”

What isn’t known is whether and to what extent Holmgren will be paid beyond the end of the season, or whether he had the kind of cash-and-carry contract that Bill Parcells had with the Dolphins, allowing him to leave with full pay upon a change in ownership.  It’s likely a detail that was covered when Holmgren took the job, given that it should have been obvious that Lerner’s disdain for doing the things an owner does could eventually result in Lerner deciding not to own the team at all.

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14 responses to “Holmgren’s exit makes plenty of sense

  1. I’ve never quite understood exactly what Mike Holmgren has done to merit such a lofty status with the Browns.

    Judging by his performance there, the answer is: nothing.

  2. great Move by The Browns Holmgren was a good coach and won a super bowl because he had a great GM in Ron Wolf. Holmgren Failed in Seattle and Cleveland because he was over his head . It was all about the money

  3. Mike Holmgren’s football credentials and career history brought some respectability back to a city whose program for the sport of the NFL had been decimated by the departures of Paul Brown; and Art Modell. Having to clean up the mess of the Lerner purchase of the Browns and their return to relevance in the NFL is not an easy task. I thank Mike for his efforts and wish him well in the future; whatever path he chooses to take; as I do to Jimmy Haslam, as well. Some will complain that Holmgren’s performance was better as a coach than a GM, or a Pres, or a recognizer of talent on the field from the draft; but I would like to say that I am appreciative of ALL efforts to restore GREATNESS to the CLEVELAND BROWNS that I WITNESSED on a field that CLEVELAND WON a CHAMPIONSHIP on! As a kid, seeing Blanton Collier coach that day (later a personal friend), Frank Ryan pass, Gary Collins catch (also a personal friend), and JIM BROWN run against a team that was heavily favored (by double digits) and WIN; inspired me! Hopefully, that is the inspiration that Brandon, Trent, Joe, and the rest of the current crop will bring; along with Jimmy’s Haslam’s ownership.

  4. See ya Mike! Don’t let the door hit ya in the “big Show”
    Worthless SOB was just taking Learner’s money…………………

  5. i think Holmgren is finished, period. Reid may have a shot in Cleveland…his mistake might have been sticking with Vick, and Holmgren’S? drafting Colt McCoy…that killed them, it really did.

  6. Mike Holmgren is the Peter Principle in action — a great coach rising to the level of his own incompetence.

    Mike has no talent for personnel.

    If you want him to succeed in your organization, get him on the field with a strong GM above him.

    But keep him away from personnel or administrative matters.

    They distract him from what he does well.

  7. Great deal for Holmgren. 10 million bucks for 2.5 years worth of nothingness, nepotism hires, and, frankly, regression. Good riddance. He blew it right off the bat in my eyes when he hired Shurmur. Why? Because after coming to Cleveland and seeing what a horrible mess the team was- due primarily to one poor, unqualified HC and GM hired after another, his “answer” to “fix” the Browns problems was to… hire another unproven, unqualified HC. Nice.

    I’m actually more excited about an owner coming in who actually cares about the team and doing whatever it takes to make them a winner than I was when the Browns first came back in ’99. Thanks to Lerner ownership, the last 13 years were a joke and I’m gonna pretend they never happened. Original Cleveland Browns: 1946-1995. New Cleveland Browns: 2012 – ?

  8. I still can’t understand all the negativity toward Holmgren from Cleveland fans. The guy was the president and defacto owner, not the GM and head coach. I guess very few people remember what the Cleveland Browns looked like before he got there. It was a dysfunctional team who made ESPN daily due to constant infighting between the GM, Head coach, coordinators, players and fans.

    Maybe I’m wrong but did he not inherit a team who’s ownership was so clueless that he let the last head coach hire the GM just for that GM to go MIA on his own team resulting in the coach having to take over the job? Name any other team in any other sport in the WORLD where that has happened. Then again, didn’t he get hired in the first place because the former owner 100% backed his most recent coaching hire all the way to midway through the guys first season?

    For 3 seasons the Browns had more stability on their team from top to bottom then they had the previous 10. No QB controversy’s, no GM head, coach fighting, no diva players running to the media every time they didn’t get their way. Even the Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy issues last season were done with respect with neither side talking down publicly about the other and both could have and would have been a PR nightmare under a less qualified person.

    Holmren did what he could with the little time he had. His retirement after this season just makes him another victim of Randy Lerners inability to make decisions to help his team. Thankfully it’s the last one Browns fans will have to live with.

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