Breaking News: Mike Holmgren to Leave Browns, Possibly Within Next 24 Hours

With new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam officially being voted into the club today by his fellow NFL owners, the curtains on Haslam’s plans for the Browns can finally start to be lifted.

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Jimmy Haslam will be immediately naming Joe Banner as CEO/President, a move everyone expected. What was less clear was what Holmgren’s future would be. Now it appears we have the answer:

New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, whose takeover of the team was officially approved Tuesday, will name Joe Banner the team’s CEO/president and current president Mike Holmgren will depart the organization within 24 hours, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder.

Haslem has a news conference scheduled for noon and will announce the Banner move, the sources said. It is unknown if Holmgren’s status will be addressed at the news conference.

Many expected Holmgren would at least stay on through the end of this season, but if Werder’s sources are correct, the end of the Mike Holmgren era in Cleveland may be over sooner than most anticipated. For all the losses the Browns racked up under Holmgren’s watch, an argument could still be made that strides were made and that the talent on the team is in better shape today than it was 3 years ago.

No word yet on what the future holds for Browns GM Tom Heckert or head coach Pat Shurmur.

UPDATE (12:30 pm): ESPN’s Adam Schefter is now reporting that Holmgren will stay on for the remainder of the season, and then will leave the organization. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is also saying that Holmgren will stay on for the rest of the season.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I’m hoping that they keep Heckert (and believe they will), and give Shurmur some more time. While Shurmur has been moderately disappointing so far, I believe he has the capacity to learn from his mistakes, much like some other young head coaches who were kept have in recent years. If he doesn’t appear to, then junk him.

    Heckert’s picks have been really quite good, with the few blah picks generally the ones Holmgren supposedly ‘pushed’ for.

  • DontbringLBJback


  • Dee P

    Possible Headlines:

    Shurmur Soils Pants As Walrus Waives Bye-Bye

    Holmgren Booted Out of Cleveland Even Though He Was Never There To Begin With

    The Walrus Returns To The Sea….attle.

    Holmgren Out; McCoy Asks To Come Along

    Fujita’s Neck Hurt; Holmgren’s Ego Hurt

  • CB Everett

    Yes you can argue “strides” were made in 3 years. You can also argue that eventually running water will cut through rock. I think Banner taking over right away is the right move…might as well make some use of this season and usher in changes now rather than wfny.

  • maxfnmloans

    surprised this news was not broken on Seattle radio

  • typo

    Mike Holmgren will discuss this on Seattle radio later today

  • Craig Piatt

    Now THAT is how you make a statement that you are serious about your investment. You gotta wonder what’s going through the heads of Heckert and Shurmur. Here’s hoping for a bright future!

  • mgbode

    and ESPN (Schefter) is reporting Holmgren will stay on the rest of the season.

    perhaps a middle ground? consultant-only role to Banner/Haslam to assess the organization (as Harv suggested)?

  • Sixth City Fan

    I am hoping that Heckert is kept around. Agree the talent is better than 3 years ago. Way to show your serious Jimmy!

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Holmgren Departs; Shurmur Eats Farts

  • dwhit110

    This’ll be a question of “who got it right.” The Cleveland outlets all seem to be reporting that Holmgren will be out “after the season.”

  • BenRM

    Every time I think about Heckert, I wonder, “Do I like him because he’s the best GM the Browns have had since their return? Or do I like him because he’s actually good?”

    I don’t know the answer.

  • Ezzie Goldish


  • Clown Baby

    I wish I could say Shurmur has been “mildly disappointing.” I would say it’s been a disaster and painful to watch. From his horrendous record, to his in-game mismanagement and near breakdowns with the media this guy has done nothing to inspire confidence. We’ve been losing so long people lose perspective when the Browns actually win. Shurmur is not Belichick.

  • thepaledragon

    Every season that Heckert has been GM, the Browns’ roster has been better. That seems like the sign of a good GM.

  • humboldt

    In an NFL structured for parity a team almost has to actively try to sabotage itself in order to make no progress from year-to-year. It appears Holmgren/Heckert have moderately upgraded the talent on the roster but I see no evidence that any great strides were made. We remain a bottom quartile team with middling talent.

    I value stability as much as anyone, but would also like to build the franchise for a decade of success as early as possible, even if it means gutting our existing structure.

    My concern is the “redux” tendency in the NFL. In the last decade, we got New England redux with Crennell and Mangini. Then we got West Coast Offense redux with Holmgren/Shurmur. I don’t want this next iteration with Banner to simply be Pitts/Philadelphia redux. The charge should be to develop an organization/system adapted and optimized to the current and expected future culture/structure of the NFL. I want a leader to build on foresight, instincts, and adaptability rather than on the basis of some rigid “system” or ideology.

  • Clown Baby

    PD reporting that Holmgren approached Lerner at the beginning of the year about having a reduced role going forward. Yeah, that pretty much sums Mike’s devotion.

  • Hopwin


  • dan

    And every year that the roster has been “better” under Heckert, the team has… won the same, or fewer, or been on pace to win fewer yet, games.

    This is an ancient debate, but I’ll repeat a point I, and others, have made before, which is that, for the other 31 teams in the NFL, improvement is signaled by more wins and the process begins in the first year, not the fourth.

  • WFNYJon

    Whenever I show my Jimmy, it’s very serious indeed.

  • TSR3000

    I really hope we keep Heckert.

  • JNeids

    Jon I hope you don’t go into hibernation until pitchers and catchers report. I don’t want to think what the winter will be like without you…

  • cmm13

    Jimmy was cutting every link between himself and the old Browns. He had the team. It was his. I know he kicked some money upstairs to Goodell but it made him sick to have to turn money over to the guys who stole it. Jimmy was making nice money through his Pittsburgh connections. But still, for months after the sale of the team they were finding bodies all over.

    When they found Shurmur in the meat truck, he was frozen so stiff it took them two days to thaw him out for the autopsy.

  • Denny

    Don’t forget to dance on the way out, Mustache Football Jesus.

  • Lyon25

    Boy, that was a great use of millions if dollars

  • mgbode

    he got us Heckert. if the draft picks continue to flourish, then we have to give him credit for hiring away Heckert (where we failed at doing so just a year earlier).


    +1,000,000 internet points.

  • Dinner

    You guys may be happy that Holmgren is leaving, but i’ll bet everyone will beg for Holmgren to return as president of the Browns if Joe Banner’s performance as president is far worse than Holmgren, or what he did in with the Eagles.


    Just wondering about Joe Banner’s and Tom Heckert’s working relationship in Philly, if there was one. From what I’ve heard (which is in no way completely gospel) those two don’t necessarily get along.

  • mgbode

    was that from anywhere but the Philly media? they are the same ones that claimed Banner only left because of a power struggle with Reid when Banner was claiming he wanted to become part an ownership group (about the same time Haslam was initiating talks with Lerner).

  • Hopwin

    You guys may be happy you are no longer on fire, but you are going to wish you were still on fire if someone pours rubbing alcohol and salt on your open wounds!

  • cmm13

    Holmgrum: “I want a Colt McCoy, no a Brandon Weeden, I want a West Coast offense, I want a house in Seattle..”

  • cmm13

    While most Browns fans were waiting for Mr. Haslam to take over the team in hopes of turning it around, I sat very patiently waiting for the chance to use his name in every one of these references I can.
    Let the real fun begin.

  • Harv 21

    nice concept, to be cutting edge, being the vanguard would be the best. You’d be reinventing the wheel and way ahead before anyone else figured out what you were doing and steals your untouched resources.

    Problem is you usually stumble into a great coach or concept rather than intentionally discover it, and it doesn’t necessarily appear fully formed the first time, instead might look like a disaster. In my football-watching lifetime the track sprinters turned receivers would change everything, Buddy Ryan’s defensive concepts were going to redefine the entire game, as was the no-huddle/sugar-huddle of Sam Wyche, as were QB athletes like Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick. All of these have flared and subsided, and provided very temporary advantages if at all.

    Belichik was in a lot of ways a Parcell clone, nothing new, copying his attitudes and outlook to a great degree. He was just incredibly hard-working, disciplined and trusting of his own ideas. And mentor Parcells/Young were no originals, even as a tough guy intimidators looking for tough players. So I’m not sure how we can expect owners to do anything but look for something they trust.

    If the Haslams are bold by nature they’ll probably take a risk. If not, they will and should go with what feels to them will produce a stable and consistent winner.

  • CB Everett

    Totally agree on the redux concerns. Something significant gets lost in the cloning (sheep?) process for sure. Also, it doesn’t help when we’re striking out on nearly every single personnel & drafting decison along the way. Heckert’s been at least decent, if not good, over the last few years on his picks. I’m not sure of Banning’s ideology with respect to the WCO (as a PHI guy though, you’d assume he’s a believer). I know it’s not a popular sell in CLE, but I’d like to see it continue (preferably without the Shurm).

  • Harv 21

    Feel the same, Ben. I’m petrified of dumping him because he seems very rational and hasn’t made the annual bonehead, franchise-crushing moves of his predecessors. Also think the 2012 draft could be a classic if Benjamin turns into a deep threat.

    But then there’s his second rounders: Ward, Little, Hardesty, guys who can contribute but all now look like the risky and unnecesary reaches of a personnel guy who maybe falls in love too easily on draft day instead of just following the scouts’ board. Or maybe that’s Holmgren’s whisperings on draft day. I do know the personnel guy is the most important guy in the org, and has to be right.

  • thepaledragon

    In terms of the number of wins, I’d put the blame on the coaching staff. In year 3 of the Heckert era we are on the third offensive coordinator. Also, there was no offseason last year for Shurmur to install his offense (due to the lockout).

  • Denny


  • cmm13

    Nobody knows for sure how many Browns front office personnel were fired in a daring takeover of the organization announced today from the JW Marriot in Chicago, IL.
    The NFL reports 1 President, the fans are reporting a GM and head coach.
    We go to Tony Grossi live at the scene of the purchase in Berea. It looks like a big one, maybe the biggest in Cleveland history.

  • Harv 21

    you win. shut’er down, boys.

  • Garry_Owen

    This is the punctuation on the internet. We can all turn off the machines. There’s nothing more to see here, and nothing will ever surpass what just happened.

  • David Schultz

    Normally I would agree with you, but I struggle to realistically see how things could be FAR worse. I mean, seriously.

  • WFNYJon


  • porckchopexpress

    32 million bucks. 32 million bucks for a lifetime working for other people and 2 years of non-descript employment duties working for the Browns. It was barely enough to buy a palatial villa on a man made island in Qatar.

  • porckchopexpress

    Holmgren: Jimmy had never asked me to scout a player before, and now he’s asking me to go down to Florida with Tom to check out a DB? That’s when I knew I’d never come back from Florida employed.

  • Lyon25

    I’m Luke warm on Tom. He has some good picks but also missed in some as well.

  • Lyon25

    But I agree at least with your point of hiring Heckert away from Philly.

  • cmm13

    This one. win.

  • cmm13

    This one. win.