Browns announce Banner stepping down as CEO, Lombardi out, Farmer promoted to GM


Jan 11, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns chief executive officer Joe Banner during a press conference at the team

The Cleveland Browns have announced that CEO Joe Banner is stepping down, that general manager Mike Lombardi has been fired and that assistant general manager Ray Farmer has been promoted to general manager.  Evidently, owner Jimmy Haslam III was not kidding or done with the firing of Rob Chudzinski and has cleaned house of everyone that he hired from a year ago except Farmer.  The team will hold a press conference at 11am.

The Browns went through the process of hiring Mike Pettine as the new head coach, has a staff in place and was preparing for free agency and the NFL Draft.  The question is what happened to cause this to happen now.  Outside of hiring Pettine and firing Chud, nothing much has really happened.

This also could have substantial implications for their strategy when it comes to free agency, resigning their own players and how they approach the draft.  The perception was that center Alex Mack would walk in free agency and safety T.J. Ward would receive the franchise tag.  That is still the expected outcome but with Farmer firmly in place, he might make a bigger push to keep Mack in Cleveland by offering more money.

This move raises more questions than answers and while it certainly shows Haslam as not afraid to make a move, it also makes one wonder if he is too quick to make moves and erratic as a result.