Who bears responsibility if the Deshaun Watson deal never bears fruit? | Zero Blitz

Yahoo Sports' Jason Fitz and former NFL front office executive Michael Lombardi play the blame game with the Browns. Who ultimately bears responsibility if Deshaun Watson turns out to be a bust in Cleveland? Hear the full conversation on Zero Blitz. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript


JASON FITZ: There was some conversation about the Browns and, organizationally, who made the decision on the contracts, who made the decision to trade Josh Dobbs, and is part of our conversation with Charles Robinson one of the things that has become clear? It's that it feels like Paul DePodesta, the chief operating person there, has as much say, if not more, according to some reports as even the GM. So as somebody that's been in the front office, what do you do in a situation, where you're the GM, and you're going to be held accountable for moves that maybe you don't have the full say in making?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I mean, I think there's a lot of GMs that have that situation. I know I did, too, you know? You might have the title. I've said this many times.

When I went to New England as assistant to the coaching staff, I had probably more say or influence than I did when I was in Cleveland with the general manager title. I would say of the 32 teams, very few of the general managers have complete control over everything. It's very rare. There's no doubt, DePodesta runs the team there.

JASON FITZ: Who should be held accountable if this all turns into-- because you've taught me so much about risk in these situations. Who should be held accountable if Deshaun Watson turns out to be an absolute dumpster fire and one of the worst transactions in history?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Well, I think it's got to be-- it's going to have to be DePodesta and Barry, I mean, because I'm told that they're the ones that decided to go ahead and do the deal. Now, I'm sure Jimmy Haslam and his family were intimately involved. D. Haslam, all of them were intimately involved.

I can't imagine to fund that money to the league office, the owner didn't have to sign off on it. I think that's really-- but, you know, they did something to get themselves back in it, because remember, Watson said he wasn't interested in the Browns. But then he got back into it, because they guaranteed the money.