Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have been a laughingstock and an example of how not to run any sports team. And yet somehow they have found a way of reaching new levels of being a dysfunction franchise.
In 1995 then Browns owner Art Modell relocated his historic 4-time championship winning NFL franchise to Baltimore. During the same off-season Modell fired then Browns’ Head Coach Bill Belichick. By 2000 the Baltimore Ravens were Super Bowl champions lead by an all-time great defence. The foundation was set for the Ravens championship team at 1996 NFL draft when the Ravens, selected Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden with what would have been the Browns’ fourth overall pick. Thanks to Belichick, the Ravens had an additional first round pick after a trade at the previous year’s draft that saw the San Francisco 49ers traded up from 30th overall to 10th overall to select wide receiver J.J. Stokes. In addition to the 30th pick the Browns received the 26th overall pick in 1996. With that pick, the Ravens selected University of Miami linebacker and future first ballot Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.
From 1996 season until 1998 the Cleveland Browns franchise was officially a suspended operation. As part of an agreement between the city of Cleveland and the NFL, the city was allowed to keep the name, logo and colours associated with the franchise and a promise that if a new stadium was built the Browns would return as an expansion franchise. In 1998 Al Lerner paid a then record fee for the Browns franchise to return. The Lerner family would continue to own the Browns until 2012, despite Al’s death 2002.
The rebooted Browns started operations in February 1999, with an expansion draft. Despite not having a single player on the roster, the Browns under General Manager Dwight Clark were only able to select two players who would end as starters the first season. The team hired Chris Palmer as their head coach. In the 1999 draft, the Browns selected Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch first overall, hoping for him to be their franchise quarterback. With the second overall pick the Philadelphia Eagles selected Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb. Despite selecting six players who would be starters in their initial season, none would have long or impactful careers. Bad drafting is a recurring theme that has plagued the franchise since the 1999 return.
In 2000 the Browns would yet again have the first overall pick, and predictably selected the wrong player. Penn St defensive lineman Courtney Brown was picked and would last just five years in Cleveland. Brown would be traded to Denver in 2005, and retired after just one season with the Broncos.
However, it would be Belichick who would come away the biggest winner of the 2000 NFL draft, in his first season as Head Coach of the New England Patriots. With the 183th overall pick the Browns selected Texas St. quarterback Spergon Wynn. Wynn would be out of the NFL following the 2001 season. Wynn would go on to play a few seasons in the CFL before retiring. Wynn’s career NFL quarterback rating is 39.5. That is only noteworthy because that if he were to drop back and throw the ball directly into the ground every play, his quarterback rating would be 39.6. The next quarterback drafted, 199th overall, was some guy from the University of Michigan you may have heard of, Tom Brady.
In 2001, Belichick and Brady would win their first of four Super Bowls. The Browns meanwhile hired University of Miami head coach Butch Davis, to be their general manager and replace Palmer who went 5-27 in his two seasons as the Browns’ head coach. Under Davis the Browns improved to 7-9 and 9-7 in 2002, making the playoffs for the first and only time since the franchise return in 1999. The Browns would travel to division rival Pittsburgh losing 36-33. However, there was reason for optimism in Cleveland. The sense of optimism around the team would be brief.
Despite experience some minor success the Browns draft picks continued to be horrible. In their first four seasons, the Browns would select just four players who would spend more than 6 seasons as starters in the NFL (Daylon McCutcheon, Gerard Warren, Anthony Henry and Andre Davis). Former first overall pick Tim Couch would be cut following the 2003 season as the Browns search for a franchise quarterback continued to go unfulfilled.
Davis was fired near the end of the 2004 season. After making the playoffs in 2002, Davis went 5-11 in 2003 and started the 2004 season 4-7 before being fired. 2003 would mark one of Cleveland’s best drafts, selecting Chris Crocker and Jeff Faine. Both Crocker and Faine would each be starters in the NFL for more than six seasons.
It is the career of Faine that best illustrates some of the bad luck the Browns have also suffered. In 2006, the Browns would make a big splash in free agency signing the best available player, center and Cleveland native LaCharles Bentley to a 6 year $36 million dollar contract, from the New Orleans Saints. The Browns would then trade incumbent starting center Jeff Faine to New Orleans. On the first play of training camp, Bentley suffered a serious knee injury and tore his patella tendon. Bentley would undergo multiple surgeries and nearly lose his leg to a staph infection. Bentley would never end up playing a single snap for the Browns. While Faine would go on to make the Pro Bowl with the Saints.
In 2004 the Browns would again find two starters of six plus season, Kellen Winslow Jr., and Sean Jones. Again bad luck would haunt the Browns. In the second game of his rookie season, Winslow broke his leg. In the off-season, Winslow would crash his motorcycle and tear his ACL. Despite recording over 1100 yards in 2007 season, Winslow would be traded after the 2008 season, after feuding with then General Manager Phil Savage after Winslow contracted a staph infection at the Browns’ facilities.
The 2004 off-season the Browns attempted to solve their quarterback problem by signing former three time Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia from the 49ers. Garcia signed for $25 million over four years. Garcia was 34 at the time of his signing, lasted just one season in Cleveland before being released. Garcia started just ten games in 2004, going 3-7. Garcia would spend the rest of his career bouncing from team to team as a backup, before retiring in 2011.
In 2005, the Browns looked to the coaching tree of Belichick for their next head coach. The Browns hired Patriots defensive coordinator and former Browns’ assistant Romeo Crennel. In the four previous seasons, Crennel won three Super Bowls as the defensive coordinator for the Brady and Belichick lead Patriots. By the time Crennel was hired, the Browns had started 7 different quarterbacks. By the end of Crennel’s tenure in 2008 the Browns would be up to 13 different starting quarterbacks. In four seasons Crennel’s record would be 24-40. That record looks even worse considering the Browns nearly made the playoffs in 2007 with a 10-6 record. In the other three seasons the Browns were 14-34 under Crennel. Crennel’s tenure was tied to Savage who served as the Browns general manager from 2005 until 2008.
The Crennel era would again be plagued with disastrous drafts and free agent signings. In the first six years of the rebooted Browns, the team drafted in the top 6 four times. Crennel would begin his tenure with the third overall pick selecting Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Edwards like Winslow before him would be plagued by knee injuries and a staph infection. Edwards produced one fantastic season for the Browns, recorded 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007. After four games into the 2009 season, Edwards was traded to the New York Jets.
The Browns once again made a big splash in free agency, signing cornerback Gary Baxter away from division rival Baltimore Ravens for $30 million and six seasons. The Browns gave Braxter a $10.5 million signing bonus. In his first season in Cleveland Baxter missed 11 games after tearing his pectoral muscle. The following season, Baxter tore his patella tendon in both of his knees just three games into the season. Baxter spent the entire 2007 season on injury reserve as he recovered from his injury. In total, Baxter played in just eight games for the Browns and was released prior to the 2008 season.
The Browns drafted two starters of 6 or more seasons in the 2006 draft (Kamerion Wimbley and D’Qwell Jackson). In 2007, the Browns drafted Wisconsin Left Tackle Joe Thomas. Thomas is easily the best player the Browns have fielded since their return in 1999 and will a future Hall of famer. In addition to Thomas, the Browns drafted another 6 year plus starter in cornerback Eric Wright. Unfortunately in the same draft the Browns mortgaged most of their 2008 draft in a trade to select Notre Dame quarterback and Ohio native Brady Quinn 22nd overall. The Browns’ 2008 draft was a complete write off. With just six picks and none until the fourth round Browns came away with almost nothing.
Surprisingly the Browns’ were successful when they entered the free agent market in 2007. Unfortunately, for the Browns the 2008 off-season would again be disastrous. In 2007 the Browns lured Eric Steinbach away from in state rival Cincinnati. Steinbach would team with Thomas to form one of the best left sides of an offensive line in football for several seasons. The Browns also successfully signed former 2000 yard rusher Jamal Lewis from the Ravens. Lewis would produce two 1000 yard seasons for the Browns before retiring after the 2009 season.
In 2008 the Browns had perhaps their worst off-season since their return. The Browns first traded for Green Bay Packers franchise tag defensive lineman Corey Williams. The Browns would extend Williams with a six year $38.6 million contract. After just two seasons, Williams was traded to Detroit for virtually nothing. A week later, the Browns signed former Saints wide receiver Donte Stallworth to a seven year $35 million contract. In his first season Stallworth recorded just 17 catches and 170 yards. During the off-season Stallworth was charged with DUI manslaughter and suspended the entire 2009 season. Upon being reinstated the Browns terminated Stallworth’s contact.
For the second straight head coaching hire, the Browns looked to the Belichick coaching tree, hiring Eric Mangini. Mangini was fresh off a three year stint as the head coach of the New York Jets, where he made the playoff once and went 23-25. Mangini would last just two seasons with the Browns, as the same themes continued throughout his tenure.
For the first ten seasons of the Cleveland Browns reboot, the lack of success could be attributed to poor draft results, bad luck and playing in a division dominated by the Ravens and Pittsbugh Steelers, who combined to win three Super Bowls. However, in 2009 the Browns dropped to a new level of being a dysfunction, poorly run franchise. The Browns hired George Kokinis to replace Savage as the general manager. After a 1-7 start to the season, Kokinis was fired and escorted out of the building by security.
In his lone draft as General Manager Kokinis selected center Alex Mack in the first round. Mack continues to be the starting center of the Browns through the 2015 season. However, every other pick made by Kokinis provided little value and only special teams player Don Carey still in the league by 2015. The Browns would start 1-11 before winning their final four games to finish the season.
After the unmemorable tenure of Kokinis, the Browns provided their fans with optimism, by hiring former Packers and Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren to be the team’s president. Holmgren won a Super Bowl with the Brett Favre lead Packers, leaving to become the head coach and general manager of the Seahawks. After a few seasons in both roles for the Seahawks, Holmgren was removed as the general manager, but remained the head coach leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl appearance. Holmgren’s first move for the Browns was hiring with former Eagles general manager Tom Heckert Jr. to replace Kokinis.
Heckert had a successful first draft with the Browns, selecting three starters of four seasons in Joe Haden, T.J. Ward and Shawn Lauvao. Heckert successfully dipped into free agency to sign tight end Ben Watson to a three year $12 million contract that Watson would actually fulfill unlike most Browns signings. However, Heckert signed quarterback Jake Delhomme to a two year contract. Delhomme lead the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance but lost to Belicheck and Brady. Delhomme was paid $7 million for the 2010 season before getting released and not playing out the second year of his contract.
The 2010 season would be the last for Eric Mangini who was fired after consecutive 5-11 seasons. By the end of the Mangini tenure, the Browns starting quarterback count was up to 16.
Heckert and Holmgren would hire former Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as the new head coach. In his first season as head coach the Browns started 2-2, and would only win two more games the rest of the season. The Browns finished with a 4-12 season.
Heckert followed up his first draft was a second, solid but unspectacular draft. Heckert traded back from sixth overall pick to 27th with the Atlanta Falcons picking up additional picks. Heckert then traded up from 27 to 21 to selected mammoth defensive lineman Phil Taylor. Taylor would spend four seasons as a starter for the Browns but missed the majority of two seasons with injuries. Taylor would be cut prior to the 2015 season, and spent the year out of football.
In the second round Heckert selected Jabaal Sheard. Sheard spent three seasons as a starter in Cleveland before leaving for New England as a free agent, recording 31 sacks in his first five seasons. On the third day of the draft Heckert selected tight end Jordan Cameron and versatile defensive back Buster Skrine. Both Cameron and Skrine left the Browns as free agents following the 2014 season after two seasons of starting for the Browns.
From 1999 to 2011 the Browns went 68-140.Yet somehow the Browns managed to become even more dysfunctional. The story of the Cleveland Browns took a turn that very few could have seen coming. The Browns became even more of a comedic joke that even the best Hollywood comedy writers could not have come up with.
The 2012 off-season started with the team not making any mistakes in free agency, but that is more due to the team not making any major signings. Six weeks later, the draft arrived and general manager Heckert was extremely active.
At the 2012 draft, the Browns held the third overall pick. Heckert traded down to fourth picking up three extra day three picks. In total the Browns held 11 picks, including two in the first round. The Browns appeared to be moving in the right direction.
With the fourth overall pick, the Browns selected Alabama running back Trent Richardson. At the time the pick was praised as a selecting a “can’t miss” prospect. Richardson played 17 games for the Browns before being traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round pick. Richardson would be out of football for the entire 2015 season.
With the 22nd overall pick, the Browns selected former New York Yankees pitching prospect and Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden was already 28 years old when the Browns drafted him, leaving him little room to improve. Like Richardson, Weeden was traded after two seasons and 20 starts with the Browns.
The remaining nine picks for the Browns produced similar success as their first two picks. Of the 11 picks the Browns had in 2012, only three players remain on the Browns through the 2015 season. Guard Mitchell Schwartz has proven to be a four year starter for the team replacing Steinbach at left guard, next to Thomas. Defensive lineman John Hughes has been a depth defender for the team. Receiver and return man Travis Benjamin has improve each year as a pro has emerged as an elite returner and starting receiver.
As part of the supplemental draft, the Browns selected troubled Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon with a second round pick. At Baylor, Gordon had been suspended twice for drug related offenses. With the Browns, Gordon was very productive. In 2013, Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the season due to violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Despite the suspension, Gordon finished the season with 87 catches for 1646 yards and nine touchdowns. The following season, Gordon would be suspended 10 games for violating the substance policy again. Gordon would be suspended the entire 2015 for yet another substance abuse policy violation.
During the middle of the season, the Browns were sold. Jimmy Haslem purchased the franchise from the Lerner family for just around a billion dollars. Haslem earned his fortune through owning the Pilot Flying J truck stop empire. Haslem was a seemingly unknown figure, but as information surfaced the optimism that ownership changes usually bring sports franchise was quickly gone. In 2008, Haslem purchased a minority share of Brown rival the Pittsburgh Steelers. Haslem was forced to sell as part of his agreement when buying the Browns.
Predictably, as is the case when a new owner takes over the Browns cleaned house and fired executives Holmgren and Heckert. Like Mangini before him, Shurmur was fired after just his second season. By the end of the Shurmur, Heckert and Holmgren era the Browns had reached 18 different starting quarterbacks.
Haslem hired former Browns and Belichick director of pro personal Michael Lombardi. Lombardi worked for Bill Walsh’s 49ers dynasty in the 80s before being hired by the Browns in 1987 and staying with the team until 1996. From 1998 to 2007 Lombardi worked for the Oakland Raiders. Lombardi was qualified for to be the General Manager, but had spent the previous six seasons working in the media.
Lombardi hired former Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as the head coach. Lombardi would then turn his focus to free agency where he hoped to rebuild the Browns’ defense. Lombardi spent a large portion of his available cap room on five year contracts for defensive lineman Desmond Bryant ($34 million) and edge defender Paul Kruger ($40 million). The moves both proved to be good, but neither proved to be anything to brag about. Lombardi would also sign Gary Barnidge to a bargain contract. In 2015, out of no where Barnidge caught 79 passes for 1043 yards and nine touchdowns. Barnidge’s 2015 stat line exceed his combined stats for the previous six seasons.
The Browns continued to reach new comedic levels in April 2013. Prior to the NFL draft it was revealed that Haslem’s truck stop business was being investigated by the FBI for fraud. Haslem and his company agreed to pay $92 million as part of a criminal enforcement agreement.
The 2013 draft proved to be nearly as terrible as their 2012 draft. With just five picks, the Browns hoped yet another top six pick would help their defence. The Browns again held a top six pick and elected to take LSU pass rusher Barkevious Mingo. Lombardi expected Mingo to team with Kruger to provide the Browns with a dynamic pass rush. However after three seasons, Mingo has struggled to even establish himself as a starter. Mingo has started 16 of a possible 48 games recording just seven sacks. The only other player from the 2013 draft class on the roster is seventh round pick Armonty Bryant a depth defensive lineman who has got 8.5 sacks in his three seasons.
The 2013 Browns got out to a better than expected start, going 3-2 in their first five games. However like Browns teams before them, the 2013 version would win just one game of their remaining 11. For the second straight off-season, Haslem cleaned house, firing both Lombardi and Chudzinski after just one season. The Browns starting quarterback reached 20 since 1999.
Again looking for a new general manager and head coach, Haslem looked within for a general manager. Haslem decided to promote former player Ray Farmer to general manager. Prior to joining the Browns organization, Farmer had worked for both the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons. After a month long search, Haslem hired former Bills and Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as Head coach.
Like Lombardi before him, Farmer made an early splash in free agency by signing several high profile players with the aims of improving the defence. Farmer signed 29 year old strong safety and Cleveland native Donte Whitner to a four year $28 million. Farmer followed by giving 33 year old linebacker Karlos Dansby four years and $24 million. Farmer added to the offense by signing receiver Andrew Hawkins and running back Ben Tate. Expected to be the feature back, Tate was cut by the Browns after 8 games and play on both the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers before the end of the 2014 season. Hawkins signed for four years and $13.6 million from the Bengals as a restricted free agent. Hawkins had a productive first season, before missing half of the 2015 season.
At the draft, Farmer looked to improve on the 2012 and 2013 drafts, which was not a hard accomplishment given how horrible those drafts were for the Browns. Although early the 2014 draft is on pace to be just as bad as the two previous drafts. Farmer started with the fourth overall pick, but made a trade with the Bills for the pick. As part of the return, Farmer received the ninth overall pick and Buffalo’s first round pick in 2015. Farmer would then trade up from nine to eight in a deal with Minnesota.
With the eighth pick, Cleveland selected Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, despite the fact he was not the consensus best player at his position. Gilbert has struggled badly at corner his first two seasons, struggling to see the field and often being left as an inactive. Gilbert has even flirted with a position change.
As part of the Richardson trade with Indianapolis, the Browns had an extra first round pick. Farmer traded up from 26th to 22nd with the Eagles to select the draft’s highest profile player, Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. After two seasons, Manziel has lost back to back training camp battles for the starter’s job. In eight career starts Manziel’s play has been far from impressive and puts him on a similar career path as former Browns’ quarterbacks selected 22nd overall Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden. Despite the disastrous play of Quinn and Weeden, Manziel’s off-field issues have made him even more disappointing. After his first season, Manziel went to rehab. As the 2015 season ended, reports surfaced that Manziel who was injured with a concussion skipped his concussion protocol meeting at Browns headquarters on a Saturday to party in Las Vegas. Making the story even more ridiculous, reports have stated that Manziel was in Vegas wearing a blonde wig and moustache referring to himself as “Billy,” but as much as it seems plausible with the Browns is difficult to believe.
The only saving grace from the 2014 draft for Cleveland is Joel Bitonio. The Nevada offensive line product was excellent as a rookie before injuries ended his 2015 season prematurely. If there is anywhere the Browns can have any hope it is on the offensive line where stalwarts Thomas and Mack are teamed with young talents in Bitonio and Schwartz.
At the end of the season, Farmer suspended the first four games of the 2015 for violating NFL rules regarding texting the Browns coaching staff during the middle of games. The Browns were $250,000 for the violations.
The Browns also elected to introduce new jerseys and logo during the off-season. The jersey’s were universally panned and criticized by fans and media members.
After finishing 7-9, owner Jimmy Haslem surprisingly showed a little patience with his general manager and head coach, allowing both to return for a second season. For the second straight season, Farmer went into free agency with lots of cap space available.
Farmer looked to improve his offense by signing quarterback McCown to a three year $14 million contract. Looking to give McCown some receivers to make his life easier, Farmer signed two year contracts with former 1000 yard receivers Dwayne Bowe ($13 million) and Brian Hartline ($6 million). As with his signings the year before, Farmer signed older players. McCown was 36, Bowe 30 and Hartline 28.
All three moves turned into disasters, as none of Farmer’s signings played the entire season. McCown played well in eight games. Bowe was a disaster, looking completely shot as many could have predicted following his last three seasons with the Chiefs. Bowe finished the season with just five catches for 53 yards. Hartline played 12 games before a season ending injury.
On defence Farmer signed 32 year old corner Tramon Williams to a three year $21 million dollar contract, to play the corner that former eighth overall pick Gilbert proved unable to play. In addition to Williams, Farmer signed 31 year old Randy Starks to a two year contract worth $8 million.
The best move made by Farmer, trading for punter Andy Lee, who continued to be one of the league’s best punters of the past decade. Outside of the trade for Lee, Farmer’s off-season can be described as a disaster and the reason why the 2015 Browns regressed after the 2014 seven win season.
The Browns entered the 2015 with 12 picks, including two in the first and third rounds. With the eleventh pick the Browns selected athletic giant defensive lineman Danny Shelton. Shelton proved to be good but not great, and a work in progress. With the 19th pick the Browns selected versatile Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Irving. Irving started just four games and was viewed as a pick made for 2016 when he will likely replace a departing lineman in either Mack or Schwartz. Second round pick Nate Orchard started 11 games, while third round pick Duke Johnson started 7. Although early, the returns are at least better than the three previous drafts. However, it is nearly impossible to be worse.
The Browns regressed to 3-13. As history has shown, Haslem’s patience ran out for Farmer and Pettine and both were fired at the end of the season. The Cleveland quarterback graveyard grew to 24.
As the 2016 off-season begins, Haslem is searching for his fourth general manager and head coach since buying the team in 2012. Although still searching for a new general manager, Haslem made an extremely interesting front office hire.
Paul DePodesta is best known for his tenure as the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. For those who may be confused, you read that right, Haslem hired a baseball executive to be the Browns’ “chief strategy officer.” DePodesta will report directly to Haslem himself.
DePodesta gained fame through the Michael Lewis book Moneyball that looked at the analytically approach of Oakland Athletics’ General Manager Billy Beane. DePodesta was portrayed by Jonah Hill in the film adaptation of Moneyball under a different name. As a general manager, DePodesta tenure with the Dodgers is considered a failure, by many as the team failed to improve from when he took over. Then Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, fired DePodesta after two seasons, and in many ways McCourt is very similar to Haslem as he nearly destroyed the Dodgers franchise.
As inexperienced as DePodesta appears on the surface, this is not his first time working as a football executive. DePodesta played for Harvard in college and worked for the Baltimore Stallions of the CFL. DePodesta was not hired to scout players. DePodesta was hired to bring analytical thinking to the Browns. Adding an additional set of information and data to every decision the Browns make. Logically thinking, immediate impact from the DePodesta will be on the current roster and free agency. Immediately, people should expect players under performing their contracts to be gone. In free agency, analytics should help prevent the Browns from signing old declining players.
Following the DePodesta hire, Halsem lured former Oakland Raiders Head Coach and Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to be the Browns Head Coach. Jackson’s tenure as Raiders head coach lasted just the 2011 season, finishing 8-8. Normally that would be good enough to keep your job, but Jackson was in an unusual circumstance.
In the middle of the 2011 season, Raiders hall of fame owner and general manager Al Davis died the day prior to the Raiders week five game against the Houston Texans. The Raiders would win to start 3-2. The Raiders would play the Browns the following week, winning but losing starting quarterback Jason Campbell. In response, Jackson traded a first and second round pick for then retired quarterback Carson Palmer a day after beating Cleveland.
The trade was a disaster for the Raiders, setting them back two years and would eventually lose their division lead to the Tim Tebow lead Denver Broncos. Jackson would be fired by Mark Davis who cleaned house. Jackson would be hired by the Bengals working directly with quarterback Andy Dalton improving his play steadily over his tenure with the team.
For the Browns, franchise to have any success, Haslem will have to give Jackson time to install his offense with a quarterback of his choosing. Reports suggest Jackson and ownership are ready to move on from troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel. For Jackson, it will be an interesting test to see how he will use the analytics generated by DePodesta. Once again, Cleveland has reason to be optimistic about the Browns.
Since the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999, the team has gone 87-185, averaging a 5-11 record annually. The team has had seven different head coaches, seven different general managers and one interim head coach (Terry Robiskie, 2004). The Browns have selected in the top 8 of the NFL draft ten times and started 24 different quarterbacks. At least for Browns fans, it can not get any worse. However, under Haslem’s ownership there is little reason for optimism as the owner continues to be a self-destructive force to his billion dollar franchise. But at the very least, Haslem has burned his franchise down to the ground so he can rebuild in a new analytical approach.