August 1, 2014

Howard Eskin: Cleveland Browns Allegedly Could be for Sale

The Cleveland Browns are allegedly one of a handful of NFL teams that are for sale according to WIP’s Howard Eskin.

In a tweet regarding the ex-Philadelphia Eagles president buying the Bills, Eskin, the Eagles’ sideline reporter, states that league sources tell him the Browns join the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo franchise as teams that are also for sale.

Current Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner inherited the team following the passing of his father Al who owned the team since their return in 1999. Lerner’s tenure has been a disappointment to many with the Browns having made the playoffs one time since his family obtained ownership. Despite a lack of overall success, it is speculated that the value of the team has doubled since 1999.

It is speculated that while Lerner may not be actively seeking sale, the team can be had for the right price.

(Update: Per Browns PR via The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns are not for sale.)

  • Big Z

    WTF?

  • mgbode

    hopefully just a rumor.  ownership change likely adds to turmoil and this team has enough of that as it is now. 

    I know that’s likely a minority opinion, but I want to see this through before we chuck everything and start over (again).

  • Mark

    I don’t believe a word of this.

  • Malthom

    Lerner doesn’t own the team directly.  A trust that he runs, however, does.  That trust was set up to take advantage of tax breaks and to ensure the Browns remain in Cleveland.

  • kjn

    Concussion lawsuits making ya’ll a little nervous?

  • Anonymous

    The rumor is true.  I am commenting anonymously cause I don’t want to be followed up upon, but a close friend of my family is a “hob nob” in the cleveland business scene.  He knows and has business relationships with all the major sports owners in the area and is a prominant OSU alum as well.  About 9 months ago, at the beginning of the OSU season, he told me that Urban Meyer was gonna be the coach next year, “no ifs about it.” this was before any media reports surfaced – and I read a lot of sports blogs for fun.  About 2 months ago he told me Lerner was looking to sell, the price tag around $1 billion.  I don’t want to claim to be an insider or anything like that, it was just told to me matter of factly, but I 100% believe it. 

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY
  • Harv 21

    a commenter named Anonymous commenting anonymously? I’m putting this source on double-secret probation.  

  • Mark

    The Urban Meyer rumor was out there the day Tressel resigned. It wasn’t much of a stretch to figure that one out.

  • FearTheRoo

    Can Dan Gilbert spend an extra billion? what’s not to like about the Browns?

  • John

    X2!

  • mgbode

    I thought it was out there the day Urban resigned from Florida :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=623181281 Alex Mathews

    It’s interesting…if the headline read “Cleveland Indians Allegedly For Sale” most of us would be rejoicing.

  • thedude

    hiphop hiphop anonymous

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    NFL rules prohibit dual-sports franchise ownership. It would take a lot of transferring of rights to various people.

  • CLEsports!

    Mary Kay Cabot just posted on twitter that the browns are not for sale as stated by Neal Gulkis of the browns

  • KGsAngryFace

     Scott – didn’t they change that rule for owners in the same market re: benson in New Orleans and Huizenga in Miami?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    My house isn’t for sale… you know unless someone pays me double what I bought it for… Then I’ll wish I could sell it twice.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Let’s start a collection!  I think I have like 12 bucks on me :-)

  • Stinkfist

    too bad they didn’t keep Lerner from buying Aston Villa

  • Eric G

    I take this as much to heart as “a source who prefers to remain nameless”.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Tough call, but I’d trade a few extra years of turmoil for an ownership like the Rooney Family (as blasphemous as that is for a Cleveland fan to say)

  • Henry Brown

    Saints and now Hornets are both owned by Tom Benson

  • MrCleaveland

    I might buy the Browns.

    But you didn’t hear it from me.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ericjdoll Eric D

    Exactly. Everything is for sale, always. Doubt that there is any legitimate interest by Lerner regarding selling the Browns.

  • Bryan

    I don’t want to cause a stir, but I know a lot of people in the Cleveland sports scene.  Last year “someone important” told me that the Browns would go 4-12, Shurmur would look overmatched, and Holmgren’s mustache would grow by 3 centimeters.  This same guy just told me that Lerner is selling the team to Jim Brown for $34.50 under the condition that Trent Richardson is moved to special teams and Jim Brown is named the starting RB.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    I’d love to see our favorite irrelevant billionaire gone.

  • floydrubino

    now i understand every one of your posts

  • floydrubino

    If he has cleveland being irrelevant for this long the league should force this. He won’t though because someone would have to offer him way too much because his ego is bigger than 1.5 billion.

  • FearTheRoo

    To be fair, like others have stated the Saints/Hornets are owned by the same group, same goes for Stan Kroenke who owns the Rams, Colorado Avalanche, and several other teams.

    I think if Gibert were to become the majority owner, there would be plenty of other minority owners joining. I would be open to anyone whos last name isn’t Dolan.

  • Jaker

    oh boy. just what we needed

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    I stand corrected. The rules have apparently been “relaxed.”

  • porckchopexpress

    This thing may have legs!!!  I just happened to be driving by the complex yesterday and I saw Ted “the million dollar mans” limo parked outside, and Virgil was out on the field telling Shurmur to give most of the starter reps to Weeden. I’ll bet any minute a story is going to break confirming the news about Weeden thus confirming my suspicion.   I could easily see Bobby The Brain being installed as GM, and maybe Jim Coronet as coach, discipline problems are a thing of the past if the guys are afraid of getting cracked with a tennis racket.

  • mgbode

    glad to shed some light on it for you.  i have been open about the fact that i like the ideology of having everyone from low-level coaches to the highest areas of the FO all from the same system and working towards the same goals.  something that we have not had at any point since ’99 until now.

    that doesn’t mean it will work, but I like the drafting and am willing to give it a chance.

  • mgbode

    great, you’re just going to cause another housing bubble and make the rest of us suffer :)

  • cmm13

    There may be no rule regarding dual ownership but there are certainly “guidelines” in place regarding casino ownership.
     
    It will never happen because of this.

  • cmm13

    be careful what you wish for….

  • mgbode

    it took the Rooney’s 39 years to figure things out in Pitt.  they were a laughingstock franchise for that time.   The Lerner’s are 14 years in, let’s hope it doesnt’ take another 25.

  • mgbode

    unless your last name is Rooney.  then you can own horse racetracks with gambling on the premises.

  • cmm13

    That one still irks me.

    Yes it is his son and yes they investigated it but to supposedly have guidelines in place to prevent “vegas” from tampering with the league and still allow that one slide by is interesting.

  • Exit322

    That’s acceptable because there’s no NFL team in or around Birmingham, England.  You can own teams in other leagues if there’s no NFL team in that market

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Vince McMahon will be the new owner of the Cleveland Browns?  I’ll be referring to Hardesty from now on as He Hate Me!!  On the bright side at least they’ll be some professional cheerleaders, I hope.