Report: Browns Owner Has 'Strong and Sincere' Interest in Hiring Peyton Manning

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08: Peyton Manning watches a video presentation during a ceremony to retire his number during the halftime of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam reportedly wants Peyton Manning to join the organization. His desire to appoint the former NFL quarterback to "a prominent team president/top executive role is very strong and sincere," according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Per that report, Haslam is "desperate to find ways to put a winning football operations and coaching staff together" and hopes that "his long relationship with Manning can lead him to Cleveland."

In the past four-and-a-half seasons under Haslam's ownership, the Browns have gone 15-58, continuously mired in a rebuild.

While the current front office under Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta has accumulated a slew of draft picks in that rebuilding effort, it has also made some debatable decisions, such as passing up on quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the draft.

La Canfora reported that "It's a certainty the Browns will be undergoing sweeping changes this offseason," adding that "Haslam is desperate to find a management framework and flowchart that works—he's vacillated through various power structures in his brief time as owner—and while he has resisted the urge to blow up his football operations yet again, it's seen as inevitable now."

Adding Manning would be a high-profile move, with La Canfora noting that some within the NFL believe Haslam would be "willing to offer a small equity stake in the team to close such a deal with Manning."

Finally, La Canfora reported that Manning's friends believe he will one day seek to run a franchise, either as an executive or in an ownership group, saying that organizations such as the Tennessee Titans or New Orleans Saints would most interest him. That could make an equity stake important for potentially landing Manning in Cleveland.

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Manning remains well-respected following his Hall of Fame playing career. While he accumulated gaudy stats and won two Super Bowls, he also served as a coach on the field, regularly audibling at the line of scrimmage and changing the play based on the defense's look. That made the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos particularly difficult to defend during Manning's playing days.

That level of intelligence and diligence has made Manning an obvious candidate for teams in either a coaching or front-office role.