When the Browns fired Rob Chudzinski in January after one season as head coach, everyone exclaimed that Chud never got a fair shake. And they were right. But at least Chud isn’t the only one getting swiftly shitcanned. General manager Mike Lombardi is now out as well, with CEO Joe Banner reportedly leaving in May. Lombardi, a roundly ridiculed choice when he took over as general manager (so ridiculed in fact, Banner “protected” him from the media last off-season), also receives with the Chudzinski treatment after lasting only one year.
Few will cry for Banner and Lombardi, both abrasive and contentious figures who have yet to achieve ultimate success in NFL front office jobs, though it’s fair to say they at least left the Browns with a decent amount of picks for the upcoming draft, in part because of the decision to ship Trent Richardson to the Colts, the team that just brought on Chudzinski as a special assistant coach.
Word was rampant that owner Jimmy Haslam was embarrassed by how the Browns were viewed locally in January. Change was coming.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 11, 2014
Ultimately, the reason for the firing of Banner and Lombardi is the same as that of Chudzinski: the impatience of owner Jimmy Haslam, who apparently needs success immediately before the feds seize the franchise from him. Also, apparently Lombardi and Banner promised too much when they fired Chud. When the team was unable to land the likes of Josh McDaniels and Adam Gase, Banner and Lombardi were ousted. So now Ray Farmer will take over as the Browns’ new general manager. He better find a way to win four Super Bowls by August or he’ll be hitting the streets as well, it seems.
And just for fun, Farmer reportedly wasn’t involved with the interviewing of new head coach Mike Pettine. Gotta make sure the Factory of Sadness runs as uneasily as possible.