Blog Entry

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

Posted on: November 5, 2009 2:05 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 2:13 pm

The Cleveland Browns appear hopeless. They have lost seven of their first eight games, fired their general manager during the bye week, and the injuries are stacking up like firewood. Fans are on the verge of a protest and national media types are calling for Eric Mangini’s immediate resignation.

The Browns are in desperate need of a hero.

Or a heroine.

Enter Dawn Aponte, Cleveland Browns Vice President of Football Administration.

Never heard of her? You’re not alone. Aponte is the woman responsible for working behind the scenes to handle the contractual affairs of the Cleveland Browns. In her current role with the team, Aponte’s duties include handling player contract negotiations, player cost budgeting, league compliance, and salary cap management.’s Peter King once referred to Aponte as “Capwoman” for her extensive knowledge of the salary cap and the legal ins-and-outs of the NFL.

Aponte’s responsibilities are already similar to that of a general manager. With a vacant management position and an owner desperate for change, look for Dawn Aponte to get the first shot at filling the vacant general manager position.

It would be “Capwoman” to the rescue.

During an era in professional football where the collective bargaining agreement is in shambles and an uncapped year seems more like a reality each day, who better to handle those demands than a salary cap expert?

In an interview with the Plain Dealer’s Tony Grossi, camera-shy owner Randy Lerner was asked about Dawn Aponte and her future role with the organization.

“Dawn is a very talented executive and a good person,” Lerner said.

“My hope is that her role and impact will grow within our organization.”

A promotion of this magnitude would certainly classify as growth. Dawn Aponte is currently the vice president of football administration – a role with similar albeit different duties to that of a general manager. The learning curve may be steep, but then again the Browns have nothing to lose.

Randy Learner has always been sensitive to the public image of his Cleveland Browns. Hiring Dawn Aponte to take over as Browns’ general manager would not only be a great public relations move, but it would shift focus away from the toxicity that has become associated with jobs surrounding Eric Mangini.

Aponte would become the first woman to hold the title of NFL general manager – a story which would deflect attention away from the 1-7 football team she would inherit. Aponte has had experience working with Eric Mangini in New York, and that makes her one of the few people flexible enough to step in and take over where Kokinis left off.

From an internal standpoint, this move makes perfect sense for Eric Mangini. A first-time GM means Mangini would likely retain authority on all personnel and football decisions. From an external standpoint, Randy Lerner looks good by evoking change at the outcry of the fans, all while appearing progressive enough to break down barriers which may have been in place.

It’s a win-win situation.

Hiring Dawn Aponte won’t solve the team’s seemingly endless string of problems on the field. What it would do is equip the Browns with the personnel needed to move forward in the face of a fiscally challenging era of professional football.

Category: NFL

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2009 2:01 pm

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

The Browns need to throw out the cookbook full of recipes for disaster that they have been using. This news is not good as far as I am concerned. We need a proven comodity and not some rookie who "seems" to have the right stuff. I can't believe that we are thinking of going this route. If we do not have a proven GM in place before the draft then I will officially give up on them. I have spent way too many years rooting for this team and the last 10 years have been a major slap in the face to all Browns fans.


Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2009 8:46 am

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

Cheeks, with all due respect, either you are grasping at straws here or you have completely lost your mind.

Lerner still owes the Savage/Crennel project millions.

Now he potentially owes Kokinis millions, and then probably Mangini the same.

There is no way he would even think of hiring another "potentially" good GM, let alone an unproven one. He needs to go big time and get a can't miss GM.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2009 11:14 pm

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

All I want to hear are the big names coming in to be G.M..Do not promote from within,do not allow Mangini to run the whole thing.I don't want to hear that Bernie kosar will be G.M..Lerner needs to grow a pair and do what's right because I am about to do my own boycotting by not watching games and not buying the merchandise.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2009 11:09 pm

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

I agree

Since: Nov 8, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2009 9:55 pm

Browns GM Search: "Cap Woman" to the Rescue

The Elf was never on the Helmet . It was simply A Team Logo . They did have Numbers on the side of the Helmet for a few years in the Late Fifties early sixties .

Since: Nov 8, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2009 9:52 pm

Browns GM Search: "Cap Woman" to the Rescue

Cheeks I Have to agree that the Browns cant take anymore chances on unproven Coaches or Front Office types . the only names I Want to hear regarding the GM Position is Names Like Parcells , Holmgren , Cowher , Dungy ...People Who are proven and have been there done that . Now If they Want to groom her i would have no problem with that . Would that make her one of if not the first Female GM'S ?. This Franchise is in Dire need of A Quick Turnaround or at least someone proven in charge who would catch players attention and at the same time keep the Season Ticket Sales up . This Mess right now will have lots of Season Ticket Holders Thinking twice about renewing . And A Mess it is , One that the Browns cant afford to have A Rookie taking the reings .

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2009 3:54 pm

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

Why on earth would they promote from within.  She has a job similar to the GM, and you see how well the GM did.  The worst thing they cuodl do is promote from within.  They need to get a GM from outside the team.  And, why would you want Mangini to retain authority on personel.  The guy has no eye for talent.

Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2009 1:52 pm

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

The Browns need to use their own old "Browns Elf" carring a football on their helmets again!!! Maybe that would inspire their player to win a game!!! Not only that but it may also build some fans that like the "Browns Elf"!!! They don't have bad players. They just need some insparation!!!


Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2009 11:41 am

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

Dump Mangini, or bring in a strong GM who will get Mangini under control.  Accorsi would be a good candidate for that.

Since: Oct 20, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2009 10:34 am

Browns GM Search: "Capwoman" to the Rescue

Why did they bring in Kokinis in the first place?  Mangini does all the evaluating and personnel decisions and Dawn does all the negotiations and salary issues.  What was Kokinis supposed to do? I mean as part of this super plan that Mangini sold to Lerner.  Sounds like he took a job that was destined to fail from the outset.

And we all know Kokinis was banging Erin O'Brien.  That is why they fired her one week before him and that is the "For cause" phone records and emails that they are looking for.  All the sex emails and texts they sent back and forth during work time.  Why has the media not picked up on this yet? Are they blind?  It is classic work hook-up syndrome.  O'Brien used to service Mangini, now she was servicing another dude and he got upset and jealous.  Happens all the time, we have all seen it at our work places.

Lerner should have hried this super executive first, then let him/her bring in the staff by hiring a GM, then working to hire a coach, and then the rest of the staff.  Aponte does seem to do 90% of a GM's job right now anyway.  Let her be interim GM, even if just for publicity.

This whole situation is sad at best, and down right FUBAR at worst. 

If Lerner knew Mangini was the acting defacto GM and Dawn was the contract/negogiation side, why did they hire a "GM" in the first place?

Just have Mangini be the dictator and Dawn be his contract person.

It sounds like Aponte has talent, but doubt she will be retained when the whole ship is sunk, dredged up, rebuilt, and god willing actually sails again.


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