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Browns, GM John Dorsey Mutually Part Ways After Freddie Kitchens' Exit

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2019

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey walks on the field after an NFL preseason football game between the Detroit Lions the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns announced Tuesday they have mutually agreed to part ways with general manager John Dorsey.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported earlier Tuesday that Dorsey's job was in "serious doubt" ahead of a meeting with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.

In a statement, Dorsey said the following regarding his time with the Browns:

"When I took this job, the history of this storied franchise and the passion of our fans was an integral part of my decision. It is that same understanding and desire to see these fans enjoy the success they are so deserving of that helped me conclude, along with Jimmy and Dee [Haslam], that it was best to part ways as they embark on the search for a new head coach. I know how critical the relationship is between a general manager and head coach and I also know how critical it is that the Browns have a strong leader in their next coach. I have a great appreciation for the men and women I have worked with since being in Cleveland and my family has the same love and appreciation for this community and are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this journey."

Following a disappointing 6-10 finish, the Browns fired head coach Freddie Kitchens after just one year at the helm.

The Browns hired Dorsey in December 2017 after they won a total of four games in a three-year stretch. Cleveland improved to the tune of 13-18-1 under Dorsey in 2018 and 2019, but the Browns still have the NFL's longest playoff drought, as they haven't reached the postseason since 2002.

Dorsey made several significant personnel moves after joining the Browns to add talent to the NFL's worst team.

Among the biggest: acquiring wide receiver Jarvis Landry from the Miami Dolphins, selecting quarterback Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL draft, taking running back Nick Chubb in the second round in 2018 and landing wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade with the New York Giants.

The success of those moves has been a mixed bag. Landry made the Pro Bowl this season after eclipsing 1,100 yards, and Chubb earned his first Pro Bowl nod with 1,494 rushing yards, which ranked second in the NFL.

Meanwhile, Mayfield regressed with 22 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and a completion percentage of 59.4 percent after finishing second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2018. Beckham disappointed with just 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.

Perhaps Dorsey's biggest mistake was hiring Kitchens, who had no previous head coaching experience and had never even been a coordinator before getting elevated to offensive coordinator following Hue Jackson's firing in 2018.

Despite their lack of success over the past several years, the Browns entered 2019 as a trendy pick to win the AFC North and reach the playoffs after surprising with a 7-8-1 record in 2018. Instead, they took a step back and missed the playoffs yet again.

Dorsey's stint in Cleveland is over, but he experienced great success as the Kansas City Chiefs' general manager from 2013 to 2017 and as part of the Green Bay Packers' front office for many years before that. He shouldn't have a difficult time finding another front-office job if he so chooses.