If we have learned anything through this whole circus of finding a new head coach and general manager for the Cleveland Browns, it is that Randy Lerner is focused. Maybe even to a fault, Lerner appears to have had his sites set on certain individuals, and then fixates on them until they either turn us down (Cowher), sign with us (Mangini), or sign elsewhere (Pioli).
Lately, he’s been hot on the trail of Baltimore’s George Kokinis. And while we have heard rumors of other possible general managers like Chris Polian and Ted Sundquist, I think it speaks volumes towards these “rumors” when certain individuals have not even been considered for an interview. And even worse is when said individuals are actually lobbying to get a shot.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience to offer a club and I’d love the opportunity to get back to running a team again,” said Sundquist. “It’s a very intriguing opportunity.”
After his team missed the playoffs in two straight seasons, Sundquist was asked to step down from his role with the Denver Broncos. He had started from the bottom of the front office, and ultimately worked his way up to the general manager position, which speaks well towards his work ethic. However, his main strength was thought to be his drafting and free agent acquisitions and the product on the field did not mimic this.
There have been rumors that Sundquist was the “fall guy” for Mike Shanahan, who looks to had been given one year to right the ship. As seen by his recent firing from the Broncos, said ship was not righted. The ongoing debate will be on how much say Sundquist actually had when he was given the GM spot, as Shanahan was heavily involved in a lot of the decision-making.
During Sundquist’s six years as Broncos GM, he is technically responsible for the trading of Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey. He drafted players like Jay Cutler and Tatum Bell. But of all of his transactions, Browns fans will remember Sundquist as the man who traded Reuben Droughns for (then Browns) defensive linemen Mike Myers and Ebenezer Ekuban. He traded a fourth-round draft choice for “Big Money” Gerard Warren, and then signed him to a six-year extension. Yes, six years. As free agents, Sundquist added Alvin McKinley, Kenard Lang and Corey Jackson. All quite baffling moves in any light.
Obviously, Droughns went on to rush for over 1,000 yards with a not-so-good Browns team and was then moved to the Giants for the ever so wonderful Tim Carter. Not like the Browns capitalized on the trades of Myers and Ekuban, but I assume that it is better than trading for them.
Whether or not Lerner considers all of these moves when he thinks of Sundquist is unknown. I cannot imagine that the would-be general manager puts these transactions on his resume, but they will likely always be remembered by Browns fans.