Cleveland Browns Fire George Kokinis As GM

Tom DelamaterAnalyst INovember 3, 2009

29 Oct 2000:  A general view of the Cleveland Browns helmet during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Browns 12-3.Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Reports out of Cleveland on Monday night say George Kokinis has been fired as general manager of the Browns.

Kokinis was reportedly escorted out of the team's practice facility in Berea, Ohio, by security personnel. He was hired in January at the urging of head coach Eric Mangini, but had kept mostly a low profile in his 10 months with the team.

Kokinis' departure comes on the heels of owner Randy Lerner's firing of Erin O'Brien, director of team operations, who had also been hired based on Mangini's recommendation.

Kokinis' 18-year NFL pedigree included 13 years with the Baltimore Ravens.

Browns fans have been particularly vocal in this, the 11th season since Cleveland's 1999 return to the NFL. Two season ticketholders are calling for a boycott of the kickoff when the Browns take on the Ravens on ESPN's Monday Night Football on Nov. 16, a game that will be telecast nationally from Cleveland Browns Stadium. The boycott idea is gaining steam, and the duo behind it have earned an audience with Lerner this week.

Is Kokinis being made a scapegoat for the Browns' woes in this miserable season? He's been mostly invisible since arriving in Cleveland, preferring to work out of the spotlight. However, he had final say over the makeup of the 53-man roster.

Despite another abysmal performance in a 30-6 loss to Chicago Sunday, Mangini's job appears to be safe for the remainder of the year. Lerner said after the game that, while he is "sick" about the state of the franchise, he has no plan to make a coaching change this season. Nonetheless, the circle is tightening around Mangini by the day.

Considered an outstanding evaluator of talent, Kokinis was said to be unhappy in Cleveland. Who wouldn't be? Now, thanks to Lerner, he should be able to smile again. He's out of Cleveland, and Lerner's not.

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