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NFL roundup: Browns' new owner ousts Holmgren

The SportsXchange

Jimmy Haslam III was unanimously approved as the Cleveland Browns' owner Tuesday, and he wasted no time making big changes.

Team president Mike Holmgren is being replaced by former Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner, who will be named CEO/president, the role he sought with the Eagles that eventually led to his departure.

The fates of general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur will be decided after the season, Haslam said. Holmgren is in the third year of a five-year contract as team president. He could stay on, as Haslam suggested Tuesday in Chicago, to assist in the transition or leave his post as soon as this week.

On Tuesday, NFL owners unanimously approved the $1 billion purchase of the team from Randy Lerner in a 32-0 vote. Haslam, who built his wealth through Pilot Flying J truck stops, divested his minority share in the Pittsburgh Steelers to buy the Browns.

The sale was agreed to in August, and Haslam will close the deal Oct. 25, when Banner will also step into the prominent CEO role.

Holmgren, 64, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, was brought in by Lerner and was instrumental in hiring Shurmur.

--The Eagles made a change at defensive coordinator Tuesday, parting with Juan Castillo six games into the season. Castillo has been under fire for most of the past two seasons.

Defensive backs coach Todd Bowles was promoted to defensive coordinator by head coach Andy Reid.

Castillo was named defensive coordinator before the 2011 season but was highly criticized as the Eagles' defense lagged despite a slew of offseason acquisitions, including Pro Bowl-caliber players in defensive end Jason Babin, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins.

The Eagles were gouged against the run in 2011, using a "wide-nine" alignment that positions defensive ends a full step wide of the outside shoulder of each offensive tackle. That exposed Philadelphia against the run, and the lack of a linebacker presence and safety issues up the middle were problematic.

This season, the Eagles are holding up against the run and are getting pressure, but not sacks, and recently went a span of more than 11 quarters without a sack. Philadelphia is 30th in the NFL in sacks with seven.

--The Tennessee Titans are still limiting quarterback Jake Locker, making Matt Hasselbeck the starter for this week's game against the Bills in Buffalo.

Titans coach Mike Munchak said Locker's left shoulder might be healed enough for Locker to return as the starting quarterback next week against the Indianapolis Colts. For now, Locker is day-to-day with a dislocated non-throwing shoulder.

Hasselbeck led the Titans to a 26-23 win over the Steelers last Thursday in Nashville to improve Tennessee's record to 2-3.

--Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb is expected to miss several weeks with rib and chest injuries.

The Cardinals have ruled Kolb out of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, ESPN.com reported Tuesday.

Kolb's injuries include detached ribs from his sternum and a sprained sternoclavicular that he sustained in last Sunday's game against Buffalo on a broken play. He has taken a beating recently with 23 sacks in the past three weeks.

John Skelton came in last week to replace Kolb and likely will be the starter Sunday. He started the season opener for the Cardinals (4-2).

--The Pittsburgh Steelers suspended rookie defensive lineman Alameda Ta'amu and announced that safety Troy Polamalu will miss Sunday night's game against Cincinnati with a calf injury.

Ta'amu's suspension is effective through the Steelers' upcoming games against the Bengals and the Washington Redskins. He will not be paid or be able to practice or attend team meetings during that period.

Ta'amu was charged with drunken driving and attempting to elude police early Sunday morning during a car chase. He hit several vehicles while the police were in pursuit. The incident resulted in five felony charges, including aggravated assault, and 10 total charges against Ta'amu.

--Terrell Suggs could begin practicing with the Baltimore Ravens on a restricted basis when he's activated from the physically unable to perform list.

That move could come this week, the Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

Suggs suffered a partially torn Achilles' tendon in April and underwent surgery. The Pro Bowl outside linebacker has progressed through his rehabilitation work with no setbacks.

--The Chicago Bears cut offensive tackle Chris Williams, the team announced Tuesday. Williams appeared in three games this season but hadn't made a start.

Since he was the 14th overall draft pick by the Bears in 2008, Williams made 38 starts among his 50 game appearances. According to ESPN, Williams will receive the balance of his $1 million salary for 2012 as a vested veteran.

The Bears replaced him on the roster by signing cornerback Zack Bowman to a one-year deal.

--The "Bountygate" case took another turn Tuesday when a judge in Jonathan Vilma's defamation suit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell demanded that Goodell hand over documents related to his suspension of the New Orleans Saints linebacker, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The league will comply with the request, according to the Times-Picayune.

The court issued a motion to stay the discovery portion of Vilma's case pending review of the requested documents. The newspaper reported that Vilma will not have access to the documents even after the court receives them.

--A stadium that is still under construction is one of two finalists to play host to the 50th Super Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers' new facility in Santa Clara, Calif., will compete with Sun Life Stadium near Miami for the 2016 Super Bowl. The loser of that bid will compete with Reliant Stadium in Houston for the 2017 Super Bowl.

The site for Super Bowl L and Super Bowl LI will be selected in May.
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