With rumors swirling that new Browns CEO Joe Banner plans to fire G.M. Tom Heckert and replace him with Mike Lombardi, a new report suggests that Heckert’s future hinges on one thing.
According to Patrick McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com, Heckert could be out if he balks at the prospect of sacrificing a portion of his control over personnel to Banner.
McManamon couches the report as Heckert wanting out if Banner wants to be involved in personnel decisions, a surprising twist coming at a time when it’s believed that Heckert is twisting in the wind.
Technically, Heckert could force his ouster if he balks at what would be a violation of the terms of his contract. But the literal terms of a General Manager’s contract often mean nothing, in practice. Former Browns G.M. George Kokinis technically had control over personnel, but it was widely believed that former Browns coach Eric Mangini actually ran the show. And when Mike Holmgren became the surrogate owner and hired Heckert, it was widely believed that the former head coach known as the Big Show actually ran the show.
As a result, it appears that Heckert could be pushing back against the rumors that he could be pushed out, seizing the upper hand and making it known that, if Banner is going to try to tell him what to do and how to do it, he’ll want out.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.