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Browns Replacing GM Michael Lombardi With Ray Farmer, Joe Banner Stepping Down

Here’s a collection of notes regarding the Browns front office shakeup that occurred Tuesday morning.

  • Mike Florio reports that owner Jimmy Haslam decided that Michael Lombardi had to go.
    • Florio’s source added that Haslam also decided that Ray Farmer deserved to have full control over the football operation without any influence from Joe Banner.
    • It was reportedly Haslem’s decision to fire HC Rob Chudzinski.
  • Ian Rapoport reports that new GM Ray Farmer wasn’t present during any of the team’s head coach interviews.
    • Rapoport’s source added that had the Browns hired Broncos OC Adam Gase, they would still have fired Michael Lombardi and paired Gase with Seahawks executive Scot McCloughan. 
    • Rapoport reports that the Browns secretly interviewed Wisconsin HC Gary Anderson, who wound up getting a raise to stay in Madison.
  • Albert Breer reports that owner Jimmy Haslam was “embarrassed” by how the Browns were viewed locally in January and planned on making changes.
    • Breer adds that Joe Banner will leave the team in May, but Michael Lombardi’s is out immediately.
  • Jason Cole mentions that the Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi “sunk themselves” when they failed to deliver on promises made about who they would be able hire after firing Rob Chudzinski.
    • Cole points out that Banner and Lombardi also failed to land Chip Kelly a year ago.



The Cleveland Browns have announced some major shake ups in their front office Tuesday morning.

Team President Joe Banner will be stepping down and is in the process of transitioning out of the position right now. He’s expected to be with the team for another few months.

Browns GM Michael Lombardi is leaving the team and is being replaced by Ray Farmer who was a GM candidate for a few vacancies during the offseason.

Statement from Browns owner Jimmy Haslem:

“First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer. Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.

“We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.

“Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.

“We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.

The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”

This comes just a few months after the team surprisingly fired HC Rob Chudzinski and the rest of his staff. It’s shocking to see this amount of turnover in such a short period of time, but Farmer spoke highly of the team moving forward, which in hindsight seems interesting now that he’s one of the few left standing.

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