The Cleveland Browns dropped their last game of the season and promptly dropped their general manager and coach.
Mike Pettine went 7-4 in his first 11 games at the helm. He went 1-10 in his last eleven. Owner Jimmy Haslam clearly saw the trend line heading in the wrong direction.
Ray Farmer received a four-game suspension to start the 2015 season because he sent text messages to the Browns sideline during the 2014 season. But the GM’s failure to assemble a talented, winning team more directly resulted in his dismissal.
Both Pettine and Farmer faced several distracting scandals involving players that put an exclamation point on the failure on the field. Quarterback Johnny Manziel entered rehab after last season yet found himself embroiled in more alcohol-related incidents this season. Josh Gordon, the franchise’s most talented player, sat all of 2015 and most of 2014 for violating the league’s substance-abuse police.
The Browns finished the season with a 3-13 record, tied for worst in the NFL. But they own the second pick in the upcoming NFL draft because of a tiebreaker favoring the Tennessee Titans.
“We greatly appreciate Ray and Mike’s dedication and hard work while with the Cleveland Browns,” owner Jimmy Haslam explained in a statement. “We’ve made this decision because we don’t believe our football team is positioned well for the future. We are all disappointed with where we are and I take full responsibility. We will approach the search for our next football coach and executives to lead our football operations with a clear vision regarding what we need to do to build a successful organization. We will be methodical in looking for strong, smart leaders with high character who are relentlessly driven to improve our football team, willing to look at every resource possible to improve, and who embrace collaboration to ultimately make the best decisions for the Cleveland Browns.”
The Browns remain one of four NFL franchises to never appear in a Super Bowl and since their reincarnation after the Baltimore move boast not a single playoff win.