Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is a fan of former quarterback Peyton Manning, who is rumored to have been in Cleveland last week. But why was he here?
The Cleveland Browns are sitting at 0-6 for the second consecutive season after losing on Sunday to the Houston Texans.
The situation has gotten bad enough that speculation has already begun that owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam will once again blow everything up and start over. Because that has worked so well in the past.
If the Haslams decide that two years has been a sufficient amount of time for the current regime to fix a problem 16 years in the making, there are many who believe they will turn to retired quarterback Peyton Manning for a prominent role in the front office, one that could involve an actual ownership stake in the franchise, as Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported last week, according to Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM The Blitz:
The Manning to Cleveland rumors have been around almost from the moment that the Haslams bought the team from former owner Randy Lerner. After all, Manning comes from “football royalty” and played football as Haslam’s “beloved Tennessee.”
Things turn an interesting turn early Monday evening when Dave Chudowsky, a sports anchor at Cleveland TV station WKYC, dropped this nugget on Twitter:
Much like head coaches shopping for homes in the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville, a Northeast Ohio tradition for more than a decade now, the rumor that Manning was in Cleveland all but confirmed his hiring for some Browns fans.
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It could be that Jimmy Haslam is considering turning over total control of the franchise, along with a percentage of ownership to Manning. Why not? After all, Manning has considerable experience in building a franchise from his work with … well, actually, he has no experience in running a franchise. But we’re confident he can’t do any worse than Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi, for example.
As hard as it may be to believe, Manning could have been in the Cleveland area for a reason that is not related to the Browns.
Manning and Haslam are among a group of high-profile people who are supporting former player Anthony Gonzalez in his bid for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District. Manning and Gonzalez played together for four years with the Colts, and according to cleveland.com, Manning and Haslam have both been offering financial support to Gonzalez’ political campaign.
It may not be as exciting as buying into Manning coming in to ruin, sorry, run, the Browns, but Manning being in Cleveland does not necessarily mean people should start booking time for his introductory news conference.
Although with the way things are going for the Browns, anything – outside of actually winning a game – is possible.