Cleveland Browns fans have been through a lot the past few seasons. If I told you that Mike Holmgren is considering retirement from the club after the upcoming April draft, you might not seem all that surprised. Browns fans can exhale slowly because at this point, one can only speculate as to if this possibility exists.
Holmgren is about to enter the third year of a five-year contract as team president of the organization. But let's talk about some of the items that could give this thing legs:
1. It's the Cleveland Browns. This would be rather "Browns-like," wouldn't it? What regime has ever stuck in Cleveland longer than three years?
2. Holmgren has hinted carefully before that he's not going to stay in Cleveland forever. He just wants to leave the franchise in better hands than when he arrived. Cleveland fans would admit the possibility that Holmgren only took this job for a paycheck to begin with.
3. Maybe Holmgren's swing and miss on a potential Robert Griffin III trade was the final nail in the coffin. If Holmgren pulls off this trade with St. Louis, it's not likely that he's thinking immediate retirement before seeing it through.
This certainly wouldn't be a hard theory for someone to buy into.
The Browns are every bit the mess they were when Holmgren took over at the wheel in 2010. Being a smart football guy, no one knows the troublesome position the Browns are in better than Holmgren himself. They've gone 9-23 since the new regime came to town. They've hired a lame-duck coach in Pat Shurmur, and they have painted themselves into a corner with Colt McCoy as their 2012 starting quarterback in one of football's most brutal divisions.
Last year, they were nicknamed "The Factory of Sadness" by the fanbase, inspired by a well-done YouTube video.
The secrets inside the game aren't so secret anymore if you follow it closely. Players don't want to go to Cleveland. Agents openly talk about Cleveland's lack of desire to build a winner. Fans are failing to give votes of confidence with their wallets. The Browns are arguably one of the worst franchises in professional sports, and there's no end in sight.
Many men (players, front office executives and coaches alike) have tried to turn things around for the once-proud franchise, but none have succeeded. If things don't begin to turn around in Cleveland soon, we may soon be adding Mike Holmgren to the list.