Browns Fire Exec VP Sashi Brown

Exec VP for Football Operations Sashi Brown discussing the 2017 draft in May. [Mark Urycki / ideastream]
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The Cleveland Browns today (Thurs) fired the man who has chosen their players the last 2 years.   Executive Vice President Sashi Brown was informed that the team was going “in a new direction.”   

The Browns continue their track record of firing a general manager on average every two years.  They’ve had eight since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999.

In a written statement, owner Jimmy Haslam wrote:

“We…believe transitioning to someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams is critical to the future of the Cleveland Browns.” 

Sashi Brown oversaw a roster upheaval in which talented veterans were traded or let go in favor of draft picks.  But with those choices he passed over chances to draft quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, two players who turned out be stars.

Shortly after this year’s draft, Brown told the Cleveland Press Club

“Its one of these things where there is just not a supply of talented quarterbacks. “ 

When second round pick Deshone Kiser struggled this year, Brown made a deal to trade for Cincinnati’s back up quarterback AJ McCarron.  But the Browns failed to get all the paperwork to the NFL before the trading deadline and the transaction evaporated.

Brown’s use of statistics and analytics to choose players led observers to complain that the team needed a veteran football talent judge.  He reportedly had a frosty relationship with coach Hue Jackson.  Haslam noted that Jackson will remain coach next year. 

Speaking to reporters a short time after the news, coach Jackson refused to criticize Brown or discuss internal disagreements.

“I’m not naïve enough to think that couldn’t be me,” said Jackson.  “This is a performance-based business and I get it.  This is all I’ve know the last 17-18 years of my life.  So I do understand that arrow is pointing directly at myself.” 

Jackson hinted that he and Brown were not on the same page when he said a key to success would be alignment and collaboration.

The coach said he would not want the job himself of choosing players but that he would like to work in concert with a new General Manager.  

Brown released a statement thanking the Haslams for the opportunity.

“We made dramatic changes and put in place a foundation on which championships can be built. “

The team’s record is 1 and 27 under Brown’s two-year administration. 

Cleveland hosts the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. 

 

HASLAM STATEMENT: 

“We have great appreciation and gratitude for Sashi’s commitment and leadership to our organization but believe transitioning to someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams is critical to the future of the Cleveland Browns. Today we informed Sashi that we were going in a new direction. The 2018 draft and offseason is pivotal for our franchise, we need to ensure that we maximize our opportunity for success; with our picks, free agency and building our roster.

Hue Jackson will remain our coach and will return for the 2018 season but we feel it is necessary to take significant steps to strengthen our personnel department. We have begun the process of having productive conversations regarding leadership of our football operations and will provide further updates when appropriate. We thank Sashi for all his hard work and dedication to the Cleveland Browns.”

 

Statement from Sashi Brown:

“I want this to be real and clear, the way I know Cleveland and Browns fans can appreciate: Our win-loss record since I became executive vice president isn’t going to cut it.

We worked hard. I am so grateful to the people I worked with throughout my four-plus years with the Browns, particularly the people I worked with the past two years. We embarked on a mission to rebuild the Browns for long-term, sustainable success. We were committed and aggressive in our approach, even if unorthodox at times. We made dramatic changes and put in place a foundation on which championships can be built.

Obviously, the Browns have not yet achieved the turnaround we wanted for a franchise and the best fans in the NFL, who deserve it more than any other in sports. I know that turnaround is coming.

I thank Dee and Jimmy and the rest of the Haslam family for taking a chance on me. And when that turnaround happens, wherever I am, I will smile – more than a little bittersweetly – and say, to myself, “Go Browns!”

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