An anonymous email to Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland WKNR claiming the Browns were (again) for sale has been directly disputed by current team owner Jimmy Haslam. Tony Grossi (also of WKNR) was able to get the exclusive word from Haslam, posted yesterday on their site.
Grossi covered it pretty well asking the owner if he could envision “any scenario” in which ownership of the team would change. “Absolutely not,” Haslam said. “We plan on owning the Browns for a long time.”
As I expressed in the podcast this week with Scott Raab, I will always have my doubts about that up to and until Jimmy Haslam appears to be clear of any potential trouble with Pilot Flying J and the continuing legal action there. It seems to me that even if he and his family have no plans, that the NFL – having been blind-sided once – are likely working every contact in their collective Rolodex to make sure they’re on top of it now.
Still, as it sits today, Haslam makes good points about investment in the team, from the rebuilding of the Browns front office, to the physical building in Berea and all the way to reported stadium improvements that are pending city approval. Despite the greatest fears of fans about Haslam’s pending legal issues impacting the team, there’s little to no evidence of that with regard to the team thus far.
As for the team and the game of football itself, training camp opens July 25th and you can expect to see Jimmy Haslam there.