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Lead Browns Executive Sashi Brown Was Fired

But coach Hue Jackson and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta will continue to run the show in Cleveland

Sashi Brown Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sashi Brown, Cleveland’s executive vice president of football operations, was fired Thursday morning, bringing an end to the Browns’ attempt at channeling the Process.

Unlike former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, who stepped down under pressure before he could taste the fruits of his labor because the Process had become a PR disaster for the league, Brown may not have been fired for his philosophy as much as his failure to draft well. In Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s statement announcing the move, he mentioned the draft three times in a single paragraph, writing that the franchise needed to transition “to someone with strong experience and success in drafting.”

Sashi Brown acquired a boatload of draft picks during his tenure, but he may have whiffed on the only thing that matters in Cleveland: acquiring a quarterback. In 2016, he traded the second overall pick to the Eagles, who selected current MVP candidate Carson Wentz. In 2017, he traded the 12th overall pick to Houston, which drafted Deshaun Watson.

Former Chiefs GM John Dorsey has emerged as a candidate to replace Brown, and he has been in talks with Cleveland for around a month, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. If hired, he would be the Browns’ ninth general manager in 19 seasons. He’d likely have the first overall pick in the 2018 draft, where he’d be expected to solve Cleveland’s disastrous history under center. The team has started 28 quarterbacks in the past two decades.

Haslam also announced that head coach Hue Jackson, who is 1–27 in the role, will return for the 2018 season in spite of his performance and his … erratic handling of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.

Jackson and Brown have not been on speaking terms for about a month, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. At the October 31 trade deadline, the Browns agreed to acquire Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron, whom Jackson has a relationship with from his time as a Cincinnati assistant coach. The deal fell through when the Browns failed to properly notify the league of the trade and the 4 p.m. deadline passed. Jason La Canfora of CBS reported that some Browns coaches believed Brown had sabotaged the deal.

Brown was the only firing of the day, and his staff, including chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta, has been retained.