It takes a serious blow for anyone on a team with the best left tackle in the game to be blindsided by any play, but when Randy Lerner decided to sell the majority portion of the Cleveland Browns back in June, team president Mike Holmgren found himself face down with a mask full of field turf.
ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi’s latest discusses the man who was brought in to fix the Browns, but instead will ride into the sunset following the third season of what was to be a five-year journey to Super Bowl contention.
“Whatever the severance package, Holmgren’s likely final contract as an NFL coach or executive – he’ll be 65 next June — secured him the distinction of hauling in more money in his career than any non-player, non-owner and non-commissioner in NFL history,” writes Grossi. ”Bill Parcells had one more Super Bowl championship than Holmgren, but he couldn’t match Holmgren’s career earnings. After leaving the community-owned Green Bay Packers, Holmgren hit the lottery by signing up with billionaires Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, and the Lerner Family Trust.”
Damning is the conclusion of the report that states the team president “did the absolute minimum” during his stay in Cleveland, slipping out early during sales meetings, and showing up late to Berea — on one specific occasion, arriving after Jimmy Haslam III who came in from Knoxville, Tennesee while Holmgren was already in Cleveland. Holmgren was brought in to be the de facto owner of the Browns. Ironically, he seemingly stepped right into the shoes vacated by Lerner, right on down to the desire.
[Related: Cleveland Browns Game 7: Winner and Losers]