Browns Deny Report They've Reached Out to Front Office Candidates

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2017

Sashi Brown, acting executive vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns, left, speaks with Browns' owner Jimmy Haslam on the field during practice before an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns may be looking to make sweeping changes following an 0-6 start to the 2017 season.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Sunday the Browns are "targeting football executives" to add to the team's front office. Florio was unable to confirm whether that meant Cleveland is considering parting ways with any current members of the front office.

A Browns spokesman told Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot that Florio's report is "false and erroneous."

In January 2016, Cleveland named Sashi Brown its executive vice president of football operations as well as hired Paul DePodesta as the chief strategy officer. The hiring of DePodesta, in particular, raised eyebrows since his professional sports experience had come in baseball rather than football. The Browns were essentially bringing "Moneyball" to the NFL.

So far, the results haven't been promising.

Trading the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft to the Philadelphia Eagles may have been the regime's biggest mistake to date. Stockpiling draft picks is often a shrewd strategy, but passing on the opportunity to select Carson Wentz isn't looking great in retrospect.

The Browns also traded away the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft, which they could've used to select Deshaun Watson.

Although the Browns finished last year with the NFL's worst record (1-15), another front-office shakeup would arguably illustrate the internal dysfunction that has plagued the team since it returned to the NFL in 1999.

Promoting Brown and bringing DePodesta aboard represented the creation of a long-term vision for the Browns. Even if Cleveland makes an outside hire or two while retaining Brown and DePodesta, doing so would be an admission to some extent that the team's grand plans have largely been a failure.

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