Heckert calls total control over Cleveland’s roster “why I came here”

AP

As new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam prepares to reshape the team’s front office after the season, we’ve noted that there’s talk of stopping short of firing General Manager Tom Heckert, and instead keeping him on board but taking away his final say authority over the roster. Unsurprisingly, Heckert doesn’t sound like he’s thrilled at the prospect of that.

Talking to reporters today, Heckert stopped short of saying he’d refuse to stay in Cleveland if he lost the authority to determine the 53-man roster, but he also said the whole reason he took the job in the first place was that he was offered final say on personnel moves.

“It’s important,” Heckert said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It’s why I came here. Not saying it’s an end-all, but it’s important to me.”

Heckert said Haslam and new Browns CEO Joe Banner haven’t told him what his status will be after the season.

“Whatever happens, happens. We’ll talk about it sometime soon,” Heckert said.

It’s understandable that Heckert wouldn’t want to give up final say if that’s the reason he took the job in Cleveland. On the other hand, if the Browns were to fire him, it’s unlikely that any other team would give him final say. Which raises the possibility that Heckert might be willing to stay even if he received a demotion, not because he’d be happy with it, but because even with less authority, sticking around in Cleveland might be the best job he could get.