The Cleveland Browns are the only winless team remaining in the NFL and, to make things even uglier, no other NFL franchise has fewer than two wins over the course of the 2017 season to this point. With that as the backdrop, the team announced on Thursday that executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown has been relieved of his duties and owner Jimmy Haslam released the following statement.
“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. 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.”
Beyond the move to part ways with Brown, Haslem also announced the head coach Hue Jackson was safe for the 2018 season while thanking Brown for his efforts.
“Hue Jackson will remain our coach and will return for the 2018 season but we feel it is necessary to take significant steps to strengthen our personnel department. We have begun the process of having productive conversations regarding leadership of our football operations and will provide further updates when appropriate. We thank Sashi for all his hard work and dedication to the Cleveland Browns.”
Jackson being safe at this time is something of a surprise given the context of the winless campaign but, in the end, it appears that Cleveland’s leadership decided it was the roster, not the coaching, that is dooming the Browns at this point. Comparisons are already being made between Sashi Brown and former Philadelphia 76ers executive Sam Hinkie in that the two men began lengthy rebuilds they were not able to finish but, for now, what is public knowledge is that Brown will not be leading the Browns into 2018 and beyond.