The Cleveland Browns have fired executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown, the team announced Thursday.
“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,” team owner Jimmy Haslam said in a press release. “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.”
Thursday’s news comes in the midst of another disappointing season for the 0-12 club that continues to miss at the quarterback position. In the past two drafts, Brown & Co. have whiffed on high-calibre quarterbacks, trading away the picks that could have landed them Carson Wentz (2016) and Deshaun Watson (2017). The jury’s still out on what, exactly, they have in second-round QB DeShone Kizer (2017).
Though the team registered just a single win since Brown was hired in January 2016, his unique approach to management has seen the club stockpile draft picks and shed salary as the team continues to rebuild, leaving plenty of cap space for the next general manager that comes in.
Despite the team’s poor record, head coach Hue Jackson will keep his job for another season—his third with the club—per Haslam’s statement.
“We have begun the process of having productive conversations regarding leadership of our football operations and will provide further updates when appropriate,” Haslam said. “We thank Sashi for all his hard work and dedication to the Cleveland Browns.”
Brown released the following statement later on Thursday:
“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.
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.
I thank Dee and Jimmy and the rest of the Haslam family for taking a chance on me. And when that turnaround happens, wherever I am, I will smile – more than a little bittersweetly – and say, to myself, “Go Browns!”-Sashi Brown
Brown first joined the franchise in January 2013, and took over as executive vice president three years later—around the same time Jackson was hired as coach.