The behind the scenes battle between the Cleveland Browns and George Kokinis continues to find its way back into the fold as the 2009 season winds down. This time, as Kokinis and his counsel attempt to build a case against Randy Lerner and the Browns, it appears that any wrongdoing on the part of the Browns could in fact come back to work against Eric Mangini and his future with the team.
When George Kokinis was relieved of his duties (remember, at no point was he officially “fired”), the team claimed that he was not fulfilling his duties as a general manager. Upon this news, many fans wondered why hewas the one fired when it appeared that head coach Eric Mangini was the one not allowing him to fulfill said roles. Rumors continue to swirl that Kokinis was not involved in many key decisions – including, but not limited to, the trade of Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets.
Kokinis’ camp claims that the promises made to him upon his arrival were not honored by Mangini as well as Lerner. The Plain Dealerobtained quotes from Lerner’s representative Jeffrey Kessler stating that the empty promises were made simply to pry Kokinis from the Baltimore Ravens only to fill the chair of the general manager – not ones that would actually allow Kokinis to act in such a manner.
Per Kokinis’ team, all of these promises (final say on the 53-man roster et al) were ignored by Mangini who continually went over the general manager’s head in terms of decisions and contact with team owner Randy Lerner. If this is holds true, and the Browns lose out to Kokinis – or are forced to settle, as some outlets have hinted – the team could in fact have grounds on Mangini in terms of any termination with cause.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio claims that the Browns would have “enough ammunition” to be off of the hook for Mangini’s contract which would save the team considerably more money than they would be forced to pay Kokinis for any wrongdoing on their part.
And just who would come in and fill the vacant seats in 2010? Green Bay is starting to think that their front office may be changing area codes in the not so distant future.
When Mike Holmgren transferred from Green Bay to Seattle, he took his “cabinet” with him. This time around, Green Bay Press Gazette’s Pete Dougherty feels that two of their current members– John Schneider and Reggie McKenzie – could be doing the same. Dougherty also mentions a few members of the his past Seahawks front office – Lake Dawson and Will Lewis – as potential future employees of the Browns.
Schneider’s greatest asset is reportedly his scouting abilities at the college level, McKenzie has been touted for his skill set in the free agent arena. Both spaces are ones that could use an added boost for Holmgren’s new employer.