COMMENTARY | The events of October 16, 2012 were supposed to revitalize the moribund Cleveland Browns.
On that day, NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Browns by owner Randy Lerner to truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam. Lerner's departure was a welcome one for Cleveland fans, as he had basically been an absentee owner after purchasing an English soccer club in 2006. Haslam, on the other hand, said all the right things, and seemed to relish the chance to turn around this once proud franchise.
Less than two years into Haslam's regime, though, the Browns are as dysfunctional as ever, and it's all thanks to Cleveland's front office. These are three reasons why the Browns are the most poorly run franchise in the NFL right now:
Haslam Is Exposing Himself As A Hypocrite
Cleveland's head coaching search is in its fourth week now, and it's plainly obvious that the best candidates have already taken other jobs. Because of this, Haslam sent a letter to fans asking for patience as the Browns' head coaching search drags on.
Haslam's plea for patience must've been amusing for Browns fans, since a good majority of them felt that Cleveland's front office should've shown more patience in regards to former head coach Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski was fired on December 29 after just one season with the Browns, without any real reason being given other than the fact that Cleveland went 4-12 and ended the season on a seven-game losing streak.
It seems that patience is a virtue, but only on Haslam's terms.
Micro-Management Seems To Be The Name Of The Game For Cleveland's Front Office
A big reason why Browns CEO Joe Banner had such a successful run with the Philadelphia Eagles was because he allowed head coach/general manager Andy Reid plenty of freedom in regards to football decisions.
That certainly wasn't the case with Chudzinski, though. There were numerous reports of Cleveland's front office trying to strong-arm Chudzinski into doing things that the head coach felt were not necessary last season.
The most successful head coaches in the NFL generally have a good amount of power within their organization. The problem in Cleveland is that Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi seem to be unwilling to relinquish some of their power to a head coach, which is almost a nonsensical thought in this day and age.
Cleveland's Personnel Decisions Were Almost Laughable In 2013
The personnel decisions made by Cleveland's front office in 2013 ranged from head-scratching to just flat-out awful.
Cleveland only selected five players in the 2013 NFL Draft, and none of them were game-changers for the Browns. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo couldn't even earn a starting spot on Cleveland's defense after being selected with the sixth overall pick, so as of now, this draft looks like a bust.
In the regular season, Cleveland's inability to sign a better running back than the ineffective Willis McGahee and lack of desire to shore up an injury-ravaged offensive line were two big reasons why a team with six Pro Bowlers -- none of whom were acquired during the Haslam era -- went 4-12 last fall.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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