February 11, 2014

Banner, Lombardi out in Cleveland; Farmer named GM

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam made a blockbuster announcement today, promoting Ray Farmer to general manager and revealing that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months and general manager Mike Lombardi will leave the team, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Additionally, President Alec Scheiner will continue in charge of the organization’s business operations. Owner Jimmy Haslam made the announcement. The team will hold an 11:30 a.m. press conference in Berea. The writing was on the wall at the Super Bowl when the Browns began touting Farmer as one of the rising stars in the NFL. The major shakeup comes about three weeks after the Browns hired Mike Pettine as their head coach following a 25-day search that was portrayed as a distaster both locally and nationally. “First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer,'' Haslam said in a statement released by the team. "Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office. “We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best. “Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL. “We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities. “The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”

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