Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that “several team officials” believe it could be “extremely difficult” for current Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to keep the team with the ongoing investigation from the FBI in the workings of Pilot Flying J.
“This is more worrisome than people know,” said one team official who’s familiar with Haslam’s situation.
Freeman adds that NFL sources are worried about the long-term viability of the Browns now that Haslam’s business is a part of a very serious fraud investigation. The sources believe it could be just a matter of time before Haslam is forced to sell team.
Given that Haslam is facing a number of lawsuits, there’s a good chance that Haslam’s financial situation will be negatively impacted, even if he’s able to win most or all of these lawsuits. Clearly, the NFL would have major concerns if Haslam’s financial situation were to take a hit. Haslam has owned the Browns for close to 7 months, so it would be a pretty tough situation for the Browns if they were forced to find a new owner for the second time in less than a year.