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Sports


Latest Browns firing pushes tab to $50 million paid to ex coaches and execs
Team paying $30 million to execs from former regimes; $20 million added after firing Chudzinski and other coaches 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner address the media after firing first-year coach Rob Chudzinski
Courtesy of John H. Reid III, Cleveland Browns
Download (WKSU Only)

The Cleveland Browns are a little more than one week into their search for a new head coach and it’s proving to be a costly and lengthy process. The Browns fired first-year coach Rob Chudzinski after an abysmal 4-12 record. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says change is nothing new to Browns fans, but the revolving door of quarterbacks, execs and coaches is becoming a running joke. 

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on Browns coach search

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Terry Pluto on Luol Deng and the Cavs push for the postseason

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The search for a new coach: A huge job ahead
WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Browns have “a huge job in front of them when it comes to hiring coaches -- convincing the new coach you’re going to get more than a year or two.”

Last year at this time, the Browns fired coach Pat Shurmur. But he was a holdover from the previous owner and previous regime and “nobody would have faulted them for that.”  But the explanations of a year ago no longer hold.

“You bring in Rob Chudzinski and two well-known coordinators, Ray Horton and Norv Turner, and you give them all four-year contracts. And you fire them one year into it?”

And now the Browns are left hunting through what Pluto calls “these hot coordinators, these guys who have never been head coaches before, who are suddenly being interviewed.” And being interviewed at the same time five other NFL teams are looking for new head coaches.

The Browns have interviewed three NFL assistants and have asked permission to interview one college coach. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels confirmed Monday that he met with the Browns on Saturday. They've also interviewed Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. The Browns also have requested permission to interview Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. That interview is expected this week.

Paying big to ex coaches and execs
A recent report from Forbes says the Browns are paying $50 million to former coaches and execs to date. “What Cleveland has proven to being very good at looking is hiring people and then firing them and then paying people a lot of money not to do the job they were hired to do,” Pluto says. 

That includes about $16 million still being paid to former CEO Mike Holmgren. Pluto says former owner Randy Lerner agreed to pay that tab. When he left, Holmgren was a bit cavalier, saying: “I’m going to sit on my deck and drink umbrella drinks.”

Then there’s the $2 million a year for the two years left on Shurmur’s contract, while he’s working as offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In all, “you’re probably looking at Haslam’s writing a check for about $30 million and probably about another $15 million is coming from previous regimes” for coaches and execs no longer with the Browns.

Plenty of cash to go around
Pluto says it shows “the NFL is just awash in money,” especially television money.

Pluto says NFL in general – and Browns in particular – excel in the publicity of hope: that one more draft, one more year is all that’s needed to put a winner together.

 “So they’re always recycling themselves and selling themselves as something new even if the results are old.”

“This is your Cleveland Browns.”


Related WKSU Stories

Five Browns make All-Pro, most since 1953
Friday, January 3, 2014

Browns fire Chudzinski after one season
Monday, December 30, 2013

Browns say Chudzinski as head coach was a mistake
Monday, December 30, 2013

Terry Pluto picks Haden's honesty over athletes' robotic answers
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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