Maybe The Browns Can Win Now

by Junior D on August 3, 2012 · 0 comments

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Randy Lerner selling the Browns after years of futility

Cleveland Browns fans should be breathing a collective sigh of relief. Randy Lerner, Browns owner, has reached a deal to sell the Cleveland Browns. Lerner will hand over the reigns to Jim Haslam III, a Tennessee business man, for $920 million. That’s no chump change. I was surprised that the Browns had a price tag that high.

According to the Associated Press, Lerner will sell 70 percent of the Cleveland Browns to Jim Haslam now with the remaining 30 percent transferred to Haslam four years after the closing date.  Although the sale is not official yet, someone with knowledge of the details told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Cleveland Browns fans should be breathing much easier now that this news has come out. Although Lerner grew up in Shaker Heights and was a life long Browns fan, he couldn’t bring Browns fans a winner. Since Lerner bought the team, in 1998, he has hired and fired his share of GMs and coaches to try to improve the Browns. He has run into a string of bad personnel decisions, drafts and free agent acquisitions. Maybe Haslam will have better luck than Lerner had.

Some fans can only hope that their owner will sell the team. Lord knows I’ve thought it more than once.

Lerner commented that Haslam assured him the Browns will not be moved. So there won’t be an Art Model situation here. That’s great news for all Browns fans.

Your new Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam III

With Haslam taking over the franchise the winds of change should be sweeping through Cleveland. Although Haslam has other business interests, he has been trying to buy an NFL franchise for quite some time. He has been a minority share holder with the Cowboys, Colts and Steelers. He finally has his chance to own a controlling stake in an NFL franchise and he won’t let a recent history of losing continue. I see him opening up his wallet, taking the salary cap to the limit and making smart personnel decisions.

In a statement, Haslam stated,¬†”To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true. We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL – something all Browns fans want and deserve.” I know it’s only words but for some reason I think Browns fans should trust in Haslam.

Randy Lerner had too much going on and didn’t or couldn’t devote the time needed to run an NFL franchise. Lerner also owns the Aston Villa soccer team in England. He devoted much attention to that team and I think the Browns franchise suffered for it. I know Lerner’s intentions were good but it has to be hard to run two sports franchises, especially when they are in different countries. Someone always gets the short end of the stick and that someone was the Browns franchise and all of its loyal fans.

Haslam has a lot of work to do in getting this Browns franchise to the elite status that he wants. With his background I think he is able to do it. If he and his family could take a truck stop and make it into a billion dollar business I’m sure he can take the NFL’s “toilet” and turn it into a winner.

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