According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the “culture in the Browns building is toxic.”
“Morale is beyond low. If you can flee, you are fleeing,” writes La Canfora. “There is no shortage of individuals throughout that organization who would, like former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, get the hell out of there if at all possible.”
The situation appears to be so bad that La Canfora expects Browns owner Jimmy Haslem to “blow up his entire building once again and fire everyone, in essence blaming all but himself for his sweeping failure.”
To say the Browns’ offseason has gotten off to a bad start would be a gross understatement.
Johnny Manziel just checked himself into rehab, Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely and his time with the Browns could already be over, and both the team as well as GM Ray Farmer are reportedly facing a potential fine, suspension, and loss of draft pick for executives texting down to the sidelines this past season.
Sources tell La Canfora that Farmer is a “path of least resistance for the owner on personnel matters.”
“Jimmy is way too hands on,” a team source tells La Canfora. “He’s like Jerry Jones, only without the football knowledge. There’s tension between [team president Alec Scheiner] and [HC Mike Pettine]. Everybody sees that. Alec is involved in everything; it’s too much for him. There are no divisions. The guys on the business side want to run football operations. The GM wants to coach the team and have input on play calling. Jimmy calls the shots, and everyone is afraid of him with that quick trigger finger. If you stand up to Jimmy, he’s done with you. Jimmy’s own worst enemy is Jimmy.”
“It’s a mess,” said a different team source. “Everyone is trying to do everyone else’s job. It’s crazy.”
To make matters worse, the issues within the Browns will likely impact their ability to retain free agents such as TE Jordan Cameron, who reportedly is not interested in returning to Cleveland.
The feeling within the Browns is that sweeping changes could be coming by the end of the year.
For what it’s worth, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk mentioned on Tuesday that NFL teams could target Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff now that new HC Dan Quinn will have final say over the team’s roster.
Florio specifically mentioned that Browns as one team to keep an eye on in regards to Dimitroff.
It’s hard to say if Cleveland would try to lure him away from the Atlanta down the road, but it’s certainly an interesting idea.
We’ll have more regarding the Browns as the news is available.