Jim Donovan reports Lerner will retain 30% of Browns

I guess it made sense for Mike Holmgren to specifically say that Randy Lerner was selling a “controlling” interest in the Cleveland Browns if Jim Donovan’s report is true. Donovan claims that Randy will initially retain 30% of the club in his proposed1 deal with Jimmy Haslam III.

Obviously this still means that Haslam will have a controlling interest in the team, but it might or might not change the dynamics of change in Berea a bit.

I know that sounds a bit wishy washy, but there’s really no way to know for sure how much change the new owner and his investing group will deem necessary. It has been speculated widely that Holmgren would be marginalized by former Eagles president Joe Banner. Obviously that leads to more speculation as Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur are the next couple dominoes in line after Holmgren.

So, maybe Randy Lerner’s continued partial ownership will have at least a bit of influence. Only time will tell as we move toward the deal being finalized and as we get to know the players in this new ownership group better.

[Related:A different Shurmur enters his second training camp]


  1. pending? []
  • Mark

    If this leads to a greater possibility of continued GM/front office continuity like you’re speculating, then I hope this happens. Otherwise, I don’t think it will mean much to us fans.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The 30% is only until Lerner is done paying off all of the bad hires he made such as Mangini, Savage and the rest. As those are taken care of his interest decreases.

  • Browns440

    I think we will be upgrading controlling ownership and President. Holmgren will retire after this year, Banner will step in as President, I think Heckert and Shurmur are safe for now, Heckert has done great in the draft and worked with Banner in Philly, Shurmur will make it to the end of his contract, maybe, then depending on the standings will get an extension or be canned. Should be interesting how this pans out

  • http://brian23.com Brian

    I hope they tear it down to the girders and build a competent organization, starting as soon as possible.

  • Harv 21

    Controlling interest is called that for a reason, so doubt Lerner’s temporarily retained 30% saves anyone’s job. I’m guessing this was a concession to the lower sales price, and gives Lerner the chance to have that 30% bought out at a higher per-share price in a few years if the Browns are on the cusp of improving and the team value is about to increase.

  • Kildawg

    Heckert is actually a very competent GM and has good drafts to his credit (Haden, Ward, Sheard, Taylor, hopefully TRich, Weeden, Little, Gordon, and others), as well as retaining key personnel (Thomas, Jackson, Dawson, Cribbs); I think his job’s safe. As for everyone else, it will be performance-based.

  • Natedawg86

    So 920 mil for 70%?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He gets to use the weights spotted by Phil Taylor, cold tubs and have an equal opportunity to get a staph infection too!

  • floydrubino

    I agree. Heckert has done enough to keep his job but Shurmur is in trouble and has this year to prove himself.