Browns' Flea Market
The Cleveland Browns have now fallen to 0-6 in 2017, 1-21 since they hired coach Hugh Jackson....
Aww, screw it. I'm tired about talking about the Browns' football operations. Since Jimmy Haslem wants to run the Browns like a business, let's talk business.
As the locals begin to circle the Browns' Headquarters with torches and pitchforks, most of those same fans have sports-centric PTSD. Since Art Modell moved the team in the mid-90's, many fans are afraid of criticizing the owners of the Browns, not because they don't suck, but because they don't want them to take our team away. Again. Randy Lerner was a horrible owner. He was about being a caretaker for his Father's Legacy, and he was about Aston Villa. Well, as poorly as he did as an NFL owner, at least the fans could take solace that the Browns simply existed and weren't kicked out of the league. (Like Villa ended up crapping out of the Premiere League.) Now that Haslem is in charge, Jimmy the Carpetbagger has made a name for himself by trying to re-invent the wheel and losing spectacularly. Fans want the Browns to win, but deep down, they just want them to be competitive and not to move.
Jimmy Haslem bought the Browns in 2012:
2012 Browns Salary Cap: $121 Million - Browns Salaries $127 Million - 6 Million over the Cap
Sale of Browns not finalized until the middle of the 2012 season.
2013 Browns Salary Cap: $138 Million - Browns Salaries $124 Million - 12 Million under the Cap.
2014 Browns Salary Cap: $156 Million - Browns Salaries $136 Million - 20 Million under the Cap.
2015 Browns Salary Cap: $162 Million - Browns Salaries $140 Million - 22 Million under the Cap.
2016 Browns Salary Cap: $177 Million - Browns Salaries $131 Million - 46 Million under the Cap.
2017 Browns Salary Cap: $217 Million - Browns Salaries $154 Million - 63 Million under the Cap.
Now being nearly $150 Million under the cap for the past 5 years doesn't point at coaching, it points to bad ownership. What did you buy with that money that you saved? (Coincidentally, stadium upgrades cost about that much.)
But that's not the whole story.
2017 Cleveland Browns - #1 in the League in DEAD Money - $36 Million!
#30 in Active Money - $108 Million
#32 in Age - Average age of Players 24.34 Years Old.
Remember, the NFL, of the 4 major sports league, is the one that's set up for parity. It's hard to consistently lose in a Salary Cap sport. The Browns being so far under the cap doesn't remind you of a football model, but a baseball model. (Oh, surprise surprise, the Browns have a baseball guy in charge.)
So you think 2017 is a blip in the radar.
2013 Cleveland Browns - #15 in the League in Salaries.
2015 Cleveland Browns - #22 in the League in Salaries.
2016 Cleveland Browns - #32 in the League in Salaries.
2017 Cleveland Browns - #30 in the League in Salaries.
Maybe the Browns are waiting for 2018 to spend their money?
All day today, local sports talkers have set the airwaves ablaze with the talk of firing either the coaching staff or the front office or both. It doesn't matter.
I hate to say this aloud, but The Carpetbagger is the problem and now that most of his FBI/Pilot Flying J woes are over, he needs to decide what he wants to do with the Browns. After selling the family business to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is he going to make the Cleveland Browns his full time job? Or is he going to sell?
Dan Gilbert would be a perfect buyer, but he owns a casino. Who else would keep the Browns in Cleveland? Haslem could make a commitment to Cleveland, the city, that he hasn't made thus far, or Haslem could move the Browns. Haslem's Chief Strategy Officer still hasn't moved his office away from the west coast. Haslem's plan thus far as the owner of the CLEVELAND Browns smacks of someone looking for an escape plan, not someone looking to lay down Ohio roots for a generation.
2 years ago, did you think the Rams would really move?
Last year, did you think the Chargers would really move?
Did you really think that Al Davis Jr. would move? (Well, yeah, I actually did think that. Mark Davis is on his way to Las Vegas in 2019.)
As you laugh at the conspiratorial nature of this missive, remind yourself that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it....
The Rams story above started in Cleveland
then went to Los Angeles
then to St. Louis
and is now back in Los Angeles.