Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com mentions that the Browns could offer their CEO role to Peyton Manning once he’s done playing in the NFL.
Cabot adds that it would be a similar position to the one John Elway has with the Broncos.
“[Jimmy Haslam] loves Manning, they’re great friends, and he’s watched what John Elway has done in running the Broncos,” Cabot writes. “Manning will play at least one more season to break Brett Favre’s record for TD passes, but might be lured into a CEO role after that.”
Ian Rapoport mentioned that he would be “surprised” to see the Browns not use the franchise tag on impending free agent S T.J. Ward.
Rapoport adds that there is still a chance that the Browns could get a long-term agreement in place before the start of free agency.
The franchise tag would likely run the Browns close to $8 million for the 2014 season. They have plenty of cap space to work with and talks could pick up depending on how new GM Ray Farmer views the situation.
We have Ward listed as the No. 3 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.
Mary Kay Cabot reports that the Browns new staff still “loves” QB Brian Hoyer. However, Cabot adds that the Browns could look to trade him and possibly to the Texans in the event that he’s looking for a starting job.
New Texans HC Bill O’Brien has worked with Hoyer while they were together in New England years ago.
Cabot concedes that there still is a chance that they could look to keep Hoyer around, even if they draft a quarterback at No. 4 overall.
Head Coaching Search
Ian Rapoport reports that the new GM Ray Farmer wasn’t a part of the Browns most recent head coaching search.
Rapoport adds that Farmer may have preferred an “innovator” such as Oklahoma HC Bob Stoops or Auburn HC Gus Malzahn.
Meanwhile, Mike Garafolo mentioned that it’s very like that Mike Pettine would not have been hired as their new head coach.
Garafolo doesn’t expect the team to fire Pettine after one year like they did with Rob Chudzinski. Garafolo doesn’t see Jimmy Haslam paying another head coach to work elsewhere.
The overall feeling is that Farmer and Pettine will be able to work together, even though he may not have been Farmer’s personal choice.
Ian Rapoport reports that when Ray Farmer was scouting quarterbacks, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota was the “guy he liked best.”
Rapoport adds that he’s not sure that Farmer is sold on Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel as being their guy.
Mary Kay Cabot writes that Joe Banner’s decision to hire Michael Lombardi as GM, may have ultimately done him in. Lombardi wasn’t well liked in the Cleveland community, which dates back to his first stint with the organization.
Cabot adds that head coaching candidates were not fond of Lombardi while other didn’t have much of an appreciation for Banner either.
Previous reports have indicated that the Browns inability to sign a big name head coach was the reason why owner Jimmy Haslam elected to shake things up earlier today.
One NFL GM told Cabot: “I will do business with the Browns again — and I’m not the only one that feels this way.”