Stop me if you've heard this before: A member of the Browns' brain trust is out of a job after just one full season of employment. Actually, two members. The team announced Tuesday that general manager Mike Lombardi and CEO Joe Banner won't be with the team next season. Lombardi was replaced immediately by assistant GM Ray Farmer, while Banner will step down by May. His position won't be refilled for now.
These moves come about six weeks after first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski was fired the same night the Browns put a cap on their 4-12 season. Lombardi and Banner helped hire new head coach Mike Pettine last month, but they won't be in house to see his results.
In other words, they were fired. You can spout off reasons why these moves happened, but for me, it all comes down to this: This is really strange and really Cleveland. When Jimmy Haslam bought the Browns in 2012, they needed someone to steer the ship through choppy waters and oversee the everlasting rebuilding effort. They needed time. But how can you rebuild when you change architects every minute? Maybe promoting Farmer turns out to be smart. But for today, you have to acknowledge that the timing -- less than two weeks before the combine -- is very odd. And forget the fact that the Browns have trouble just winning games, all of this turnover at the top can't be appealing to free agents looking for the next city where they can settle down.
Pettine better watch out if he doesn't win six or seven games this season, I figure. The Browns, and Haslam specifically, lack a quality they desperately need: patience.