CLEVELAND — One win in two seasons cost Sashi Brown his job with the Browns. Coach Hue Jackson is keeping his — for now.
Winless with four weeks left in another dismal season, the Cleveland Browns fired Brown on Thursday, jettisoning their top football executive who was unable to improve the franchise enough to satisfy owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam.
Jackson, though, is safe and will return for the 2018 season despite a 1-27 record.
“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,” Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “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.
Brown was named the team’s top executive by the Haslams during an overhaul following the 2015 season. His firing is not unexpected since the Browns are 0-12 for the second straight season with Brown in charge. He gutted Cleveland’s roster, electing not to re-sign some of the team’s own free agents in favor of signing younger players and acquiring future draft picks.
However, the team’s decision to pass up on drafting quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the past two drafts may have hastened Brown’s demise and Cleveland has shown little sign of improvement since Brown took over. Brown had no experience in evaluating players as he served as the team’s general counsel before handling the salary cap and contracts.
ESPN was first to report Brown’s dismissal.
Late Thursday afternoon, Brown released a statement. It is below:
“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!”
The Browns host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
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