The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 11, 2014

Browns owner cleaning house


For the Star Beacon

CLEVELAND — The Browns fired their coach after one season. Now they’re sweeping out their front office.

Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Tuesday that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months and general manager Michael Lombardi is leaving the team.

It’s yet another stunning development for a franchise that has undergone nearly constant change in the past 15 years.

Haslam also said assistant GM Ray Farmer, who was pursued by Miami to be the Dolphins’ GM this winter, has been promoted and will immediately take the over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and draft. Cleveland has two first-round picks in May’s draft and is well under the salary cap to spend on free agents. Haslam added that president Alec Scheiner will continue to be in charge of the organization’s business operations.

“The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved,” Haslam said in a statement. Haslam will further discuss the blockbuster moves later today at a news conference at the team’s training facility.