Browns fire executive VP Sashi Brown
(TSX / STATS) -- The Cleveland Browns have fired executive vice president/general manager Sashi Brown, the team announced on Thursday.
With Brown's departure, the franchise will be searching for a general manager for the ninth time since it returned to Cleveland in 1999. The team, however, said it will keep Hue Jackson as its coach for the 2018 season.
Winless thus far this season, the Browns own a 1-27 mark under the watch of Brown, who was hired to run the front office on Jan. 3, 2016.
"We have great appreciation and gratitude for Sashi's commitment and leadership to our organization but believe transitioning to someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams is critical to the future of the Cleveland Browns," Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. "Today we informed Sashi that we were going in a new direction.
"The 2018 draft and offseason is pivotal for our franchise, we need to ensure that we maximize our opportunity for success; with our picks, free agency and building our roster.
"Hue Jackson will remain our coach and will return for the 2018 season but we feel it is necessary to take significant steps to strengthen our personnel department. We have begun the process of having productive conversations regarding leadership of our football operations and will provide further updates when appropriate. We thank Sashi for all his hard work and dedication to the Cleveland Browns."
Brown released a statement hours after the decision was made.
"I want this to be real and clear, the way I know Cleveland and Browns fans can appreciate: Our win-loss record since I became executive vice president isn't going to cut it," Brown said.
"We worked hard. I am so grateful to the people I worked with throughout my four-plus years with the Browns, particularly the people I worked with the past two years. We embarked on a mission to rebuild the Browns for long-term, sustainable success. We were committed and aggressive in our approach, even if unorthodox at times. We made dramatic changes and put in place a foundation on which championships can be built.
"Obviously, the Browns have not yet achieved the turnaround we wanted for a franchise and the best fans in the NFL, who deserve it more than any other in sports. I know that turnaround is coming."
Brown's regime has been marked with strikeouts at the quarterback position, namely trading out of the No. 2 spot in the 2016 NFL draft as Philadelphia moved up to select Carson Wentz. Wentz has an NFL-leading 29 touchdown passes this season.
The Browns then moved out of the No. 12 spot in the 2017 draft, allowing the Houston Texans to select Deshaun Watson. Watson excelled during his starting role with the Texans before tearing his ACL.
Cleveland also failed to process the paperwork in time to execute a trade for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron prior to the NFL's Oct. 31 trade deadline.
The Browns have stockpiled picks for future drafts, with six additional picks in April's draft.
Since returning to Cleveland, the Browns have had eight different general managers -- Brown, Ray Farmer, Michael Lombardi, Tom Heckert, George Kokinis, Phil Savage, Butch Davis and Dwight Clark.
While Brown was done in by the team's lack of success, Jackson said that he did not doubt that he'd return despite a 1-27 mark.
"I have never felt that that was the case. I have never wavered on that, even talking to you guys (the media). I have always felt like I have had their support," Jackson said. "My job is to coach this football team, try to get this team to where it needs to be and hold this group together and hold our coaching staff accountable to be the best we can be.
"It isn't good enough right now -- I'm being very honest with you -- but I think the things we are trying to accomplish, I think some of them we have done better here in the building. At the end as I told you guys, it is about winning and losing so we have to get to that as fast as we can."
Updated December 7, 2017