Banner's arrival forced out president Mike Holmgren, who hired both Shurmur and Heckert but left before the end of his third year with Cleveland.
Shumrur, who has two years remaining on his contract, was dealt a difficult hand from the start.
His first season with the Browns was complicated by the labor lockout, depriving him a chance to work with his players in the offseason or installing his offensive and defensive systems. He chose not to hire an offensive coordinator, holding down both positions in his first year, a decision he later said was a mistake.
Shurmur made his share of mistakes. He had some game-management issues and his play calling was often questioned. However, the 47-year-old seemed to be getting better in his second season, and he deserves credit for developing one of the league's youngest teams. The Browns had 17 rookies and 26 players with two years or less of experience on their roster.
Heckert, who came to Cleveland from Philadelphia, succeeded in upgrading the Browns' talent. He overhauled an aging team, infusing the Browns with solid young players through the draft. In April, he selected running back Trent Richardson, quarterback Brandon Weeden and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, all of whom had solid first pro seasons.
Heckert also gambled and nabbed wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft, a choice that seemed risky but paid off as the 21-year-old blossomed.
But it may have been a move Heckert couldn't pull off that doomed him.
The Browns were beaten out by Washington in the sweepstakes to get prized rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Cleveland tried to package picks to swap with the Rams, who eventually made a blockbuster deal with the Redskins who then drafted RGIII with the second overall choice.
Heckert, who was Holmgren's first hire with Cleveland, thought he would have five years to build the Browns but wound up getting just three. It's expected Heckert will quickly be scooped up as more than one dozen teams are expected to have front-office openings.