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Cleveland Browns clean out front office

Owner Jimmy Haslam announces CEO Joe Banner and General Manager Michael Lombardi will be leaving team.

February 11, 2014|Wire Reports
  • Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Tuesday that CEO Joe Banner will step down and General Manager Michael Lombardi will also be leaving the organization at a news conference.
Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Tuesday that CEO Joe Banner… (Tony Dejak / Associated…)

The Cleveland Browns fired their coach after one season. Now they're sweeping out their front office.

Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Tuesday that Chief Executive Joe Banner will step down in the next two months and General Manager Michael Lombardi is leaving the team.

“Mike and Joe have left us in good position in terms of free agency and cap space as well as this year's draft, where we have 10 overall picks and three of the first 35,” Haslam said at a news conference.

Haslam also said assistant GM Ray Farmer, who was pursued by Miami to be the Dolphins' GM this winter, has been promoted and will immediately take over the team's football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the draft. Cleveland has two first-round picks in May's draft and is well under the salary cap to spend on free agents.

The shake-up comes one month after the Browns hired Coach Mike Pettine. Banner and Haslam had fired coach Rob Chudzinski after a 4-12 season, the team's sixth straight with at least 11 losses. The University of Wisconsin said Tuesday that Coach Gary Andersen was contacted by the Browns for their coaching vacancy but decided not to pursue the position following a conversation with the NFL team, which spent 25 days to hire Pettine.

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