Browns’ revolving door costing Haslam $50 million

Haslam2Candidly, Jimmy Haslam wasn’t lying when he called the firing of Rob Chudzinski an “expensive decision.” Following the dismissal of the first-year head coach, plenty of talk surrounded the $10.5 million buyout that the Toledo-native would receive along with his pink slip. What didn’t get as much attention was the fact that Chudzinski was simply one line item on the ledger of previous head coaches and front office members to still be on the Browns’ payroll.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that this current coaching search will merely be an addition to the $50 million due to those who have been shown the door.

A year prior Haslam decided to part with team president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert, coach Pat Shurmur and their staffs as well, a move that several sources have estimated at having cost him roughly $30 million in all.

Firing Chudzinski, and letting go of high-priced coordinators Norv Turner and likely Ray Horton, will likely cost another $20 million, sources said, and then Haslam is obviously going to have to now pay an entire new coaching staff that is coming on board.

As with most NFL contracts for front office members (and more recently, high first-round draft selections), there is offset language that would allow a bit of a reprieve in the event those who were fired find work elsewhere. La Canfora estimates that even if Chudzinski, Turner or Horton find work as coordinators or collegiate coaches, the amount they will be paid will barely dent what Haslam will be paying for the next several seasons.


(Image via Candice Vlcek/WFNY)

  • Garry_Owen

    Well, if you’re talking “evidence,” please show your work.

    (When has a locker room ever said that the coach was the wrong guy? When have respected longtime NFL coaches ever said the same about a peer? By “national punditry,” are you referring to the guys that call it “the National Football League” ad nauseum and have to add “position” whenever they say “quarterback” and who speak in breathless undertones of Ray Lewis? Yeah, don’t care about those chaps.)

  • Garry_Owen

    So the answer is to just give up? Seriously, what’s the answer?

  • mgbode

    all that build-up was for the Zimmer line at the end, so it was a successful post 🙂

    encompass every possible candidate, yes, but in a specific order:

    (1) Good OC (and not given real chance)
    (2) College HC
    (3) Old DC
    (4) Failed HC
    (5) Mediocre OC (though he was Philly’s OC this year)
    (6) go back to -1-

  • mgbode

    it seems to be getting closer to being the answer, yes.

  • Garry_Owen

    Crapshoot, crapshoot, crapshoot.

  • mgbode

    well, that term certainly sums up our hiring practices. you get the initial excitement of the explosion followed by the realization that you are now covered in crap.

  • Garry_Owen

    Well that’s good, because that’s exactly how I felt after the Jax game. Giving up is how I got to where I am today. And it worked! I feel so at peace with the Browns right now! Give it a shot.

  • mgbode

    I can try, but, I’ll be honest, I’m not very good at giving up.

  • because the loans are due in 2016.
    so he has to come with 4B in 2016.
    i’m guessing he doesn’t have 4B on hand.

  • nj0

    I just refuse to convince myself that completely whiffing on a hire is some how a sign of managerial competence. As for giving up on the Browns, I did that a long while back.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    WHAT? LoL

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Great points I believe I was down voted this as more reasons why this franchise has been such a horror show. Hey look you got an up vote!

  • Garry_Owen

    Well, again, I’m not claiming that, either. I’m saying that decisively correcting mistakes CAN be a sign of managerial competence.

  • Garry_Owen

    [Apologies. Have an hour-long commute. Now to business (all in good fun)]:
    1. Preliminary Objection. Plaintiff attempts to dismiss evidence harmful to his case. As the court is well aware, evidence is to be weighed by the fact-finder, and not by the parties or their representatives. Plaintiff’s attempt to exclude evidence of Mr. Chud’s performance, however weighty, is improper and must be denied, particularly as this evidence speaks directly to the question presented by Plaintiff that Defendant is to charged to demonstrate.
    2. Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Plaintiff asserts that the firing of Mr. Chud was “an impulsive power play by an impatient typeA,” presumably Mr. Haslam. Unfortunately, Plaintiff has failed to present any actual evidence supporting this claim beyond statements in hearsay by Mr. Thomas that do not even address the fringe of the claim of Mr. Haslam’s proclivity towards “power plays,” and mere perceptions of Plaintiff’s counsel toward Mr. Haslam’s behavior, based entirely on uncited “reports” in hearsay unaccompanied by any expert behavioral analysis or credentials. For these reasons, Plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed with prejudice and no further Answer by Defendant should be required.
    3. Answer to Complaint. Notwithstanding the above Motion to Dismiss and Preliminary Objection, Defendant hereby provides this response to the specifc averments in Plaintiff’s complaint and “evidence.” Mr. Thomas, whose credibility is not at issue, is speaking as an interested party and one whose connection to Mr. Chud disqualifies him from speaking as to the impulsivity, impatience, or proclivity of Mr. Haslam toward “power plays.” Furthermore, Mr. Thomas’s statements, if admissible, do not speak to such claims. Therefore, they cannot be viewed as evidence of Mr. Haslam’s character. Mr. Haslam’s frustration and alleged early exits from two disasterpiece football performances is certainly as much evidence of his deep concern and care for the Cleveland Browns football organization as they may be evidence of his impatience, impulsivity, or proclivity toward “power plays.” As such, this evidence speaks as much, if not more, in favor of Mr. Haslam’s competence and qualifications as an owner as it arguable does to the contrary.
    4. Counterclaim. As a preliminary matter, Defendant asserts that Plaintiff, by raising the issue, carries the burden of proof and thereby, Defendant does not need to prove the question raised by Plaintiff, to wit: that Mr. Chud was the wrong guy. Notwithstanding this assertion, Defendant is willing to proffer the following evidence in support of the question posed by Plaintiff regarding Mr. Chud’s incapacity as head coach of the Cleveland Football Browns.
    a. 4-12 record. Negligence per se. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s improper argument that such evidence should be excluded, it is presumed that a football team’s record is the responsibility of the Head Football Coach.
    b. 4-12 record with a roster better than, or at least equal to, the roster held by Mr. Pat “Coaching Black Hole” Shurmur. Willful negligence.
    c. 4-12 record with a coaching staff better than, or at least equal to, the roster held by Mr. Shurmur, to include Messers Turner and Horton. Willful negligence.
    d. Inability to identify and/or evaluate talent. Willfull negligence. It is the responsibility of the Head Football Coach to identify and play the players that are most talented. In this, despite weeks of preparation, Mr. Chud elected to start Mr. Weeden at the beginning of the season, with Mr. Hoyer performing 3rd string “baseball cap” duties.
    e. Inability to identify and/or evaluate talent. See item “d” above. When Mr. Hoyer attained starting status and was injured, Mr. Chud again employed Mr. Weeden as starting QB.
    f. Inability to identify and/or evaluate talent. Negligence per se. It is presumed that the Head Football Coach is responsible for identifying the best 53 players for his gameday roster each week. In the course of the season, Mr. Chud retained one Mr. Fozzy Whitaker on the 53-man roster, and in the process moved Mr. Bobby Rainey to the practice squad, thereby facilitating Mr. Rainey’s departure.
    g. Inability to identify and/or evaluate talent. See item “f” above. In the course of the season, Mr. Chud retained Mr. Bess on the 53-man roster, thereby leaving Mr. Cooper on the practice squad with no opportunity to “catch the football.”
    h. Inability to motivate his team. Willful negligence. The Head Football Coach is responsible for motivating his team to succeed in adversity. Despite this, Mr. Chud’s team repeatedly and in consecutive games failed to “play football” in the 2nd Quarter. This remained uncorrected by Mr. Chud for multiple weeks.
    i. Inability to motivate his team. See item “h” above. Despite his responsibilities, Mr. Chud’s team repeatedly and in consecutive games failed to “play football” in the 4th quarter. This problem remained uncorrected through the completion of the season.
    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, ah submit that for these reasons, this honorable court should rule in favor of the Defendant.

  • motion for preliminary like button granted.
    final judgment deferred post BCS pending more thorough review.


    w.r.t. to the preposterous losing record in first year justification for termination, please open link: These are all NFL coaches ever sorted by SB wins. Submitted to the court are their first year w-l records:

    Chuck Noll (4 rings), 1-13; http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/NollCh0.htm
    Bill Belichick (3), 6-10; http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/BeliBi0.htm
    Joe Gibbs (3), 8-8; http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/GibbJo0.htm
    Bill Walsh (3), 2-14; http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/WalsBi0.htm

    The other coaches with two rings are Coughlin (4-12), Flores (9-7, inherited team who won SB two year earlier), Johnson (1-15), Landry (0-11-1), Lombardi (7-5), Parcells (3-12-1), Seifert (14-2, inherited SB winner), Shanahan (7-9), Shula (8-6).

    May it please the court: under the Haslam intolerance for losing manifesto Joe Banner would also have fired in their first years Noll, Belichick, Walsh, Coughlin, Johnson, Landry, and Parcells. Only Lombardi and Shula appear to meet the letter of the ‘intolerance of losing’ edict proposed by the Browns ownership (and dutifully defended by many fans).

    w.r.t. issues of talent evaluation, plaintiff fails to address the absence of ANY draft choices making meaningful contributions to the team (malfeasance of the front office);

    w.r.t. issues of coaching staff improvment, said coaching staff was hired to implement (needless) defensive system change seemingly on the whim of the CEO or owner. once coaches and talent were ‘acquired’ to implement system, system no longer viewed as strategically important.

    actually you know what… i gotta go watch auburn. may or may not take this up later.

  • Garry_Owen

    Yeah, me, too. I’m fairly certain I won’t.

    Enjoy the game.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    800M isn’t *that* much for a company that size, and especially since that’s in another couple of years I wouldn’t be that worried at this point. Remember they used a lot of it to purchase all these other assets – they can either choose to sell off some (especially those which are redundant to them in areas where they have PFJs) or if they’re successful then there’s going to be a lot more cash coming in.

  • Hopwin

    Pepsico guy left two weeks before the Feds raided PFJ. I think it is safe to say that someone tipped him that something wasn’t right and he deployed his own golden parachute.