Paul DePodesta appeared to be in line for more power with the Cleveland Browns this offseason, but there is uncertainty about his future with organization.
Cleveland Browns chief strategist Paul DePodesta seemed like he was in line to be a powerful figure within the organization after the events of the first week of Cleveland’s offseason. Jimmy Haslam’s decision to part ways with John Dorsey positioned DePodesta to have a much larger say in the organization.
However, despite Dorsey’s firing, DePodesta is not going to be running the football side of the organization. Instead, he remains in the same role, but he will likely have a larger say in determining decisions.
The Browns would likely be in a better position right now had they taken DePodesta’s recommendations during the past two head coaching searches. However, the organization did not listen to DePodesta’s recommendations, but the two decision-makers at that time are no longer with the team. And this time around, DePodesta is running the process of Cleveland’s head coaching search.
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Even though DePodesta seems to have a larger say in the front office currently and is running the coaching search, DePodesta may not be long for the Browns. Instead, DePodesta could be in his final weeks with the organization.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that DePodesta is in the final week of his contract with the Browns. Schefter reports the Browns want him to remain with the organization, and DePodesta signing a new contract at the same time with the next head coach and general manager would create alignment with the organization.
The Browns may be interested in keeping DePodesta, but a lot can depend on who the team hires as head coach and eventually general manager. According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, if the head coach and general manager do not feel comfortable with DePodesta, then the organization can make a decision on if DePodesta stays. Breer also said DePodesta potentially does not want to stay in the NFL and has other opportunities he can pursue elsewhere.
The goal of the offseason for the Cleveland Browns is to create a much more unified front in the front office, along with input from the head coach. Forcing the new general manager and head coach to work with DePodesta even if they do not align well with each other would just continue the issues the Browns have had over the past year..
It would also be hard for the organization to give DePodesta too much more power because he is not always in the team’s facilities. With DePodesta not living in Cleveland, he is not in the team’s facilities full-time, which could create issues if he had too much power with personnel decisions.
A lot will be determined when the Browns hire their head coach, as it will be easier to see the vision of the organization. Whoever becomes Cleveland’s head coach and then general manager could ultimately decide the uncertain future of Paul DePodesta with the organization.