Report: Tom Heckert thinks he’s the next to go in Cleveland


We already know that Mike Holmgren’s days as president of the Browns are winding down and another member of the team’s hierarchy thinks that he’ll be joining the man who hired him on the unemployment line.

Zac Jackson and Pat McManamon of report that General Manager Tom Heckert has been telling people close to him that he believes he will be let go by new owner Jimmy Haslam and incoming president Joe Banner at the end of the season. They also report that Heckert has been in contact with people around the league in hopes of landing a spot on another team’s personnel staff in 2013. Among the teams mentioned are the Colts, where Ryan Grigson, Heckert’s former colleague with the Eagles, runs the football operations.

While Haslam said Tuesday that there have been no decisions made about the future beyond replacing Holmgren with Banner, it wouldn’t be surprising if the new regime decided to start fresh. Haslam just spent a lot of money to gain control of the Browns and people usually like to have their choices in charge of such an expensive undertaking.

Things could change, especially if Heckert draft picks like Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Joe Haden help get the team back to respectability. Banner also knows Heckert from their time with the Eagles, but Heckert is still probably wise to consider what would come next if and when the hammer falls.

48 responses to “Report: Tom Heckert thinks he’s the next to go in Cleveland

  1. If he loses his job, he could be a stunt double/stand-in for Andy Bellefleur in True Blood.

  2. I would fire him too. Look at that horrific coaching staff he’s assembled. You build your team around conservative play callers like Shurmer and Jauron and you are what you see.

    A 1-5 football team.

  3. They need a lot more than Weedon, Richardson and Haden. That bunch will NEVER figure it out. How’s it going with his draft picks now? 1-5, wow, that’s just great. At least Colt won 4 last year. They just don’t have the players. It’ll take the new management years to make a dent in this place.

  4. Not surprised.

    Joe Banner was a pain to deal with And Tom Heckert would still be in Philadelphia instead of Howie Roseman!

    Joe Banner may have been a successful businessman in Philadelphia, but his social skills have been flawed. It seems as if all of the ex-Philadelphia Eagles guys now feel insecure because They know how Joe can be.

    I will say one thing, if the Cleveland Browns have the first overall pick in the 2013 draft they should put it up for auction or not take a quarterback number one overall.

    We are always told that teams should draft based on the best player available and not need. This year the best player on many draft boards is not a quarterback. Matt Ryan was likely worthy of the first overall pick because many did not feel that Jake Long was better than him. For example, Mike Mayock of the NFL network did not feel that way. However, Calvin Johnson was considered of the best prospect in the 2007 draft. Who went number one overall? JaMarcus Russell. Look at how both franchises (Oakland and Detroit) have gone.

    Detroit had one playoff appearance while Oakland has not seen one in 10 years.

  5. I don’t get it… Haslam selling his shares with the Steelers and buying the browns is like trading in a Ferarri (With a few dings this year), and buying a 1983 Chevy Chevette.

  6. Must be a lot of bandwagon Pats fans on here. They only show up when they’re winning! Mr. Kraft even called out the fan base by saying that he gets the Cleveland tradition and that before he was owner, the Patirots were blacked out for 34 years. Yes, that statement actually came from your owner.

    Atleast Browns fans stick with their team win, or lose. Mostly more losing the past decade, but they still show up, and haven had a black out in 14 seasons.

    Always jealous to have a fanbase, that is better than your fanbase.

  7. If he wasn’t gonna fire him Haslam def will now. Guy has his foot out the door and its week 7.

  8. Again you gotta clean house. Get your guys in here. Its not “rebuilding” when nothing has been built.

  9. Sorry Browns…you have assembled a good core of young players and are heading in the right direction and built strong for the upcoming years. Holmgren and Heckert have done what they said they would, build through the draft (look how no one is killing them over the Gordon pick anymore, or the Weeden one).

    A shame someone else will come in and most likely set the team back another 2 years as they build it their way.

    Stability is so key to success (Steelers, Patriots) and the browns keep changing dance partners every 3-4 years.

  10. clevelandschronic2 says: Oct 16, 2012 5:59 PM

    Great news we finally get a guy who can draft n they might let him go. Gotta love rebuilding!!!


    Dude, the team is 1-5 and this is his 3rd year.

  11. Weeden was a terrible choice for the draft. Could have gotten him in the 2nd round. And if they failed at getting him in the 2nd round, then they shouldn’t have drafted him at all.

  12. How’s it going with his draft picks now? 1-5, wow, that’s just great. At least Colt won 4 last year. They just don’t have the players. It’ll take the new management years to make a dent in this place.

    With less weapons and a weaker o-line than Brandie Weeden.

  13. With the Browns being 1-5 right now, it’s easy to say everyone should go and, of course, the new owner will want new people. But I’m sick of the constant turnover in Cleveland. Whoever comes in next isn’t going to turn it around in 3 years either. There will be up years and down years. It’s not going to be a straight line up to the level of Baltimore or New England. If you just tear everything apart every few years because the results aren’t coming fast enough you’ll never get a return on your investment. All you’re doing is letting a long line of coaches and front office personnel use Cleveland as a training ground before they go on to another team or retire to their vineyard in California.

    If they get an experienced and accomplished head coach, the expectations will be too high and he’s more likely to be complacent with a big contract. If they get a younger coach, he won’t be around long enough to learn from his own failures. Cleveland needs continuity, not some imaginary silver bullet new hires that somehow won’t have any of the drawbacks or make any of the mistakes of everyone else of the last 14 years.

  14. You should disclose the fact that Zak Jackson used to work for the Browns and that he no longer does. This calls his objectivity into question. Last I heard, Heckert had said that he and Banner always had a good relationship. Reason he left Philly to become GM in Cleveland is that he (Heckert) was never allowed to be fully in charge of the 53. Andy Reid ran (and still runs) the whole show there. So, let’s wait and see, shall we?

  15. flaccounibrow says:
    I don’t get it… Haslam selling his shares with the Steelers and buying the browns is like trading in a Ferarri (With a few dings this year), and buying a 1983 Chevy Chevette.


    I see your point, but keep in mind Haslem only owned about 1/16th of the Steelers. He wanted to be a sole owner of an NFL team so he could call the shots. That was never going to happen in Pittsburgh.

  16. “Must be a lot of bandwagon Pats fans on here. They only show up when they’re winning! Mr. Kraft even called out the fan base by saying that he gets the Cleveland tradition and that before he was owner, the Patirots were blacked out for 34 years. Yes, that statement actually came from your owner.”

    I’m a Patriots fan and I agree with this 100% sounds weird I know. Pats fans are made up of a lot of spoiled band-wagoners that want Belichick and Brady to leave after every loss. I’ve seen calls for Ryan Mallet. Seriously. They have no perspective anymore. It’s a very ungrateful fanbase in general.

    Pats games used to be blacked out every Sunday and with this ungrateful bandwagon filled fanbase once Brady and Belichick leave and the team falls back to being mediocre the games will be blacked out again. Count on it.

  17. I actually kinda like him, but it is easy to judge on early picks. Regular winners make great discoveries in the middle rounds. Heckert just hasn’t done that.

  18. The Browns have 15 rookies and 27 first and second year players on the roster.
    Give Heckert some credit.

  19. i’m guessing since heckert and banner worked together for a long time, that relationship has already been defined.

    it also seemed that banner (and i suspect reid) had decided to replace heckert with roseman, and were not unhappy when cleveland gave him a promotion he was never getting in philly.

    so heckert is probably correct in his assumption. nonetheless, he would have been better to keep his assumption to himself, and made sure that the fact he is putting out feelers was kept on the down low.

  20. “I really think I’m gone. I really do. I think, you know, that with this new ownership, I won’t be a good fit. I’d really like to stay so that I can, you know, finish what I started here. But I do believe that Haslam will let me go and, you know, allow me to go after other endeavors. I really do.”

    — Tom Heckert

  21. Is there any truth to the rumor the new owner will be moving them to a nearby city who’s devoted fans can likely support TWO football franchises?

    “the Pittsburgh Browns” has a nice ring to it… I’m sure the Cleveland fan base wouldn’t mind that one bit.

  22. Haslam has been involved in Pittsburgh enough to understand what stability produces but the Browns’ fans shouldn’t expect that stability to start until their new owner is comfortable with his own management team. Once his guys are in place, look for the Browns to become a world class organization. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen and when it does, that old Turnpike Rivalry with my Steelers will mean something again!

  23. Yes, this team is 1-5, but if you’re a smart, unbiased fan of the NFL, you can’t honestly look at Cleveland’s roster right now and not tell me it’s DRASTICALLY improved from three years ago!!! It’s not like Heckert was replacing future HOF’ers at the end of their careers. He had to practically gut the entire roster of mediocre, diva minded (Edwards and Winslow), old players that were castoffs from other teams. The key number is 27 (believe that’s it). That’s 27 players on this roster that are in their 1st or 2nd season!!!!! Did anyone honestly expect them to be contenders this year?! The sad part is that if Haden hadn’t been a dumb dumb and got suspended, they’d probably be at least 3-3 right now. That or if Shurmur had better play calling (Sunday was much better!). Other than the Giants game they were in every one. And stop the knocks on Weeden. Yes he’s 29, but throw away that first game and his numbers are very respectable! Do you really think Colt could have made that throw to Gordon for the 71 yard TD in 20 mph winds?! No! I like Colt but as a backup. Weeden has much more upside. And even if he only gives us 5 good years that’s better than anything we’ve had since ’99!!!

  24. Jimmy Haslam is no different that Al and Randy Lerner when he complained about how often the Lerner “changed” things in Cleveland.

    Got to love people who hold others to a standard but not themselves…sorry Jimmy, the truckstop owner, if is wrong for Lerners to make changes, it’s wrong for you to make changes too.

    The Browns are just over half way through the rebuilding project Holmgren and Heckert started in 2010…we are in year 3 of the 5 year plan.

    Haslam says he learned “the Steeler Way” while he was their minority owner…

    …did Dan Rooney fire Chuck Noll when he didn’t produce a winning team in his first 3 years as the Steelers coach?

    Haslam hired Joe ‘the bean counter’ Banner after he was fired from the Eagles and no one offered Banner a job.

    Why did Haslam hire Banner?…because he had to…

    …Banner put his money in the pot of the investors group that bought the Browns…Banner “bought” himself a job after no one would hire him.

    Who could blame the players if they ‘tanked it’ the rest of the season…no sense in risking injury when you know it’s likely Haslam and Banner will fire everyone.

    Change is the enemy of the Browns…and Haslam is no different than the Lerners when it comes to ripping things up before they have even had a chance to succeed.

    As a lifelong Browns fan, since 1961…I wish Haslam and Banner would have bought the Steelers and not the Browns.

    Haslam ushers in a new era of changes and losing, just like the Lerners.

  25. Heckart has built a GREAT team who’ll probably be a contender sooner than later but he is not wrong in thinking that he might get the ax as his future might be tied to Pat Shurmur who has a better team than Eric Mangini had but a worse record with them.

    Despite the fact that Shurmur was more of a Holmgren hire if they fire Shurmur they probably won’t want one of the people who allowed that hire in the first place to have say in the next Browns coach. It makes sense. Hopefully that won’t happen but it’s not like the potential new GM/head coach will be inheriting a horrible team. With the level of coaching talent on the Browns staff, the new coach (if there is one) could easily be on the current staff already.

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