Haslam says he’ll take a hands-on role in Browns’ draft, free agency


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.

30 responses to “Haslam says he’ll take a hands-on role in Browns’ draft, free agency

  1. I like Haslam. He will get this thing turned around. He has already addressed any fears of him being too involved. He, Banner, Lombardi, and Chud will be making joint decisions involving the roster. Could work masterfully or disastrously. Guess we will have to wait and see. No point in creating controversy that isn’t there.

  2. I personally never had a problem with Randy Lerner as an “absentee owner” as many Browns fans did. My issue with Lerner was that he never hired competent football people. It’s not really his fault, though, because many of those former leaders came “highly recommended” by the NFL such as Carmen Policy (actually hired by Al), Phil Savage, and Romeo Crennel (rumor has it that the Browns were pressured into hiring him). We can only hope that the new triumvirate of Haslam, Banner, and Lombardi is not as horrible as many of us fear.

  3. It doesn’t matter. If Randy Lerner had taken a more active role when he owned the team, they would have bitched that he was too hands-on. As it is, they whine that Lerner “didn’t care” about the team because he wasn’t trying to run it–because who would care about a billion dollar asset, right? I hope Haslem gets used to dealing with the crybaby fan base he’s gotten involved with.

  4. Hands on role? That has to scare the Browns fans to death. If it’s one thing you don’t want as a fan, it’s a “hands on” owner.

  5. Hands on owner means willing to sign the checks for guys not named Vince Young or Jamarcus Russell. If they bring in a bigger name at QB than Weeden, its going to cost the owner a lot of money and he has every right to let common sense rule the day, and not simply hunches by Banner and his “Bestman” Mike Lombardi. Too weird but true.

  6. It’s possible to be an involved, “hands on” owner without being the kind of meddlesome, micromanaging idiots that JJ and Mike Brown have been for years and that Al Davis was equally infamous for being the last 20-plus years of his life.

    The key is to hire people who have your management style, let them do their thing, and make it known that you’re not going to overrule them very often. It’s like spanking a child–best used sparingly. Swatting a kid every day accomplishes nothing, reserving swats for “special occasions” means something.

  7. “And when we bring in key free agents, I’ve got the dates blocked out that I need to be up there”…doesn’t that mean he has already had contact with these KEY FREE AGENTS and isn’t that tampering???

  8. It’s really not that complicated.

    As an owner you hire experts in their field to run the operations. Yet the owner must still hold them accountable for their decisions, and there’s nothing wrong with letting the football people know it.

    Knowing that you are going to be asked to justify your decisions as a coach or GM makes you that much better prepared.

    But the reality is, some owners skew too far one way, some go too far another.

  9. I dont know why he needs to be involved with the draft! Just because u are a billionaire doesnt mean u know who the best guy is to draft. You hired people now let them do their jobs!

  10. Personally, I would have more faith in making it home safely on the Titanic or the Heindenberg than I would have trusting Banner & Lombardi to have a successful offseason.

  11. Just when it looked like things might be getting better in Cleveland, Haslam reveals himself as the second coming of Jerry Jones. Factory of Sadness will live on, sadly.

  12. I really think Lerner wanted to win but just lacked the interest in operating as the owner of a NFL team. It’s been reported that he typically didn’t attend the NFL owner’s meeting and basically threw those keys to the last “great” hire. You can bet JH will attend those owners meetings and have an interest in how his “hires” manage the Browns.

    I have to wonder how many NFL owners are actually full time with their clubs such as JJ and how many owners bounce between team the business that paid for the team.

  13. Jimmy had a good laugh at his own expense after he misspelled Luke Joeckel’s name on the draft card, and ended up with Lew Joe Kells, a third string RB from Wichita Junior College. “No use crying over spilt milk, hahaha….”.

  14. Hands on ownership in Cleveland means coming in every two years and firing everybody because the team keeps losing. It’s holding people accountable.

  15. His response was to the Cleveland Plain Dealer who basically took the news of Haslam taking his old job back and reported it as “Haslam is washing his hands of the team.” They have a tendency to over dramatize EVERYTHING that is said when it comes to the Browns to the point of being the National Enquirer of sports reporting. If someone in the Browns organization says a practice will be postponed because it’s going to rain, the article covering the quote will be about the season not happening because of the impending hurricane.

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