On Wednesday, he was introduced as a special advisor to the team, with his role covering everything from community involvement to advising current Browns players.
While this is a move celebrated by many, it is somewhat difficult, though, to forget his bitterness after unceremoniously leaving the team under the watch of former president Mike Holmgren. Holmgren offered Brown a reduced role back in 2010, which Brown wanted no part of. He saw it as a sign of disrespect and left the organization altogether. While no one knows exactly what was said to Brown at that point, it’s hard to shake the feeling that he wanted things a certain way, didn’t get it, and left.
But new owner Jimmy Haslam saw Brown’s return as the right move for the organization, which is true. It’s hard to imagine the team without Brown staying involved, though his saga begs the question, “What exactly does a team owe a former player?”
For a player of Brown’s caliber, it at least equates to a job. Even at 77 years old, Brown commands the utmost respect from current players. That kind of influence is needed on the Browns, and for that, the team needs Brown. One just hopes his services are better utilized than in the past, so as to avoid the feeling of disrespect on both sides.