Browns Part Ways With General Manager John Dorsey

Getty General Manager John Dorsey (left) and owner Jimmy Haslam of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns are in search of their next head coach and will have to start looking for their next general manager as well.

The Browns have fired general manager John Dorsey, who held the position since 2017. The sides could not come on an agreement to a re-structure of the organization, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He did not want to take on a diminished role with the team.

The Haslams bought the Browns in 2012 and have gone through five head coaches and five general managers. The team is 32-88-1 under their watch. Dee and Jimmy Haslam released a statement after the decision.

“We have a great appreciation for John and all he has done with the Cleveland Browns. He has helped create a foundation that we need to continue to develop and build upon. While John helped greatly improve our team’s talent and we are excited about the core players on our roster, we fully recognized that our team did not meet its potential on or off the field and additional changes in leadership give us the best opportunity for success in the future. As the role of the general manager continues to evolve in this league we felt there were areas that needed to be reassessed. Over the last 48 hours, we’ve had discussion with John about his role but could not come to an agreement on a position that would enable him to remain with the organization.

“As we conveyed on Sunday and our players reiterated yesterday, bringing in a strong leader with our head coach is our priority. Our process to improve upon the leadership will allow the flexibility to ensure we create the best partnership between our future head coach and general manager. We know the road of our tenure as stewards of this franchise has been a test of patience as we all want the success that our fans so deserve and we are relentlessly committed to and working towards. We fully appreciate, understand and empathize with our fans as we work towards our ultimate goal of building a championship-level football team.”

Dorsey had a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, but it was postponed. has reportedly been at odds with the Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta, according to cleveland.com. Dorsey had two years left on his contract.

“When I took this job, the history of this storied franchise and the passion of our fans was an integral part of my decision. It is that same understanding and desire to see these fans enjoy the success they are so deserving of that helped me conclude, along with Jimmy and Dee, that it was best to part ways as they embark on the search for a new head coach,” Dorsey said in his own statement. “I know how critical the relationship is between a general manager and head coach and I also know how critical it is that the Browns have a strong leader in their next coach. I have a great appreciation for the men and women I have worked with since being in Cleveland and my family has the same love and appreciation for this community and are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this journey.”

Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network noted that Andrew Berry — who spent the last year as the Eagles Vice President of Football Operations after serving three years as the Browns’ Vice President of Player Personnel — could be an early favorite to replace Dorsey.

John Dorsey Had Hits and Misses With Browns

Dorsey made some big moves to bring in Pro Bowl level talent like Odell Beckham Jr. and has hit on draft picks like Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. However, he’s also had some misses.

Offensive lineman Austin Corbett was the most obvious, sending 2018 second-round pick to the Rams this season for a fifth-round pick.

There’s also been major issues with the offensive line, which played a big part in the regression of quarter Baker Mayfield. Dorsey did his best to keep the patchwork unit competitive, but failed to make a move at the deadline to shore up the protection significantly.

Shipping guard Kevin Zeitler to the Giants for defensive end Olivier Vernon — who had just 3.5 sacks in an injury plagued season — didn’t help either.

“I think from my position and the seat I sit in, you are always thinking three or four years down the road but also in the immediate, are there certain assets that can be acquired in the immediate that also can help this organization?” Dorsey said back in October.


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“There are different types of evaluations on assets in terms of short term and long term and then you have to be able to assess that. You also have to be able to assess your roster and the players on your roster. What needs to be fixed on that roster on a year basis and down the [road] basis? Also, the way the cap situation is you have to forecast money out there at least three years down the road.”

Dorsey was also responsible for the hiring of recently fired head coach Freddie Kitchens, who went 6-10 in his first and only year, making it very obvious he was in over his head at times.

Browns Head Coaching Search Wide Open

Filling the general manager position will just be another thing on the to-do list for the Browns, who have a sprawling list of head coaching candidates.

They include: Josh McDaniels, Pats offensive coordinator; Greg Roman, Ravens offensive coordinator; Robert Saleh, 49ers defensive coordinator; Kevin Stefanski, Vikings OC ; Mike McCarthy, former Packers head coach; Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator; Mike LaFleur, 49ers PGC ; Mike McDaniel, 49ers RGC; and Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator.


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