Blog Entry

The cost of (wanted) success

Posted on: December 21, 2009 9:06 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2009 9:09 pm

Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner surely has to print money in his basement.

How else can we explain the money he's spending to try and win a Super Bowl? The Browns officially hired Mike Holmgren as team president Monday. The deal is believed to be $50 million for 10 years.

That's money on top of the $20 million or so Lerner still owes former general manager Phil Savage, fired coach Romeo Crennel and some of his staff, and the $4 million he owes George Kokinis, who was fired this year after being pegged to replace Savage. The Browns are trying not to pay Kokinis, saying he was fired for just cause, but they probably won't win.

"No way they win that," said one league source.

Throw in the $8 million that current coach Eric Mangini cost them when he requested a remodel of the team's practice facility and you're talking $82 million. That's not counting Mangini's salary of a reported $2.5 million per season, which means he's owed $10 million after this season. Add that to the tally and it's even higher.

Want more?

Holmgren might hire a general manager -- $1 million a year at least -- and if Mangini is replaced you're talking another $15 to $20 million for a new coach. That's minimum, depending on the name.


If Holmgren is going to assume the role Bill Parcells has with the Miami Dolphins, it begs this question: If he's so good at personnel, why did the Seattle Seahawks take those powers from him when he was coach?

Holmgren was a great coach. I don't think he's a great personnel man. The Browns could have gone younger and cheaper, and they would have been better off.

I'm a big believer in giving rising personnel men the chance to succeed. Many of them have earned it.

The Browns again are guilty of the name game, instead of hiring a grinder in the personnel department of some team that would have been the right man for the job.

None of that matters I guess when you have a machine that spits out money better than any ATM. Look I know Randy Lerner got the team and money the old-fashioned way: He inherited it. But that doesn't mean he has to rip through it all the first 10 years he has it.


Category: NFL

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2010 6:08 pm

The cost of (wanted) success

Where does Lerner get the $$$$.  He's an inhereted billionaire from MBNA VISA.  Any way you cut it, it's tough to spend a THOUSAND MILLION dollars.  He also owns Aston Villa of the English Premier Soccer League, which is a pretty successful team.  I doubt he's going to run out of money very soon, even if he is spending it like a drunken sailor.  Holmgren seems like a fairly intelligent, religious, Tony Dungy like 'family' man.  He actually may be just what Lerner needs to stop the $$$$ bleeding from his dumb moves.         

Since: Aug 29, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2009 2:41 pm

He DIdn't Have Any Choice

Lerner isn't a football guy, like the Rooneys or the Maras, nor has he had any success in business, like Robert Kraft or Steve Bisciotti, which means he's never been able to develop the kinds of skills you need to hire the right people in key positions.  A cynic could go further and say that he has proven that he lacks the ability to make an intelligent evaluation of anyone without a proven track record. 

That really only left him with one option:  go after a "name".  So maybe he's the blind squirrel who's finally found an acorn, maybe not.  We'll know soon enough.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2009 2:08 pm

The cost of (wanted) success

While Holmgren the coach was definitely a proven winner, Holmgren the GM was average at best.  He gets credit for accumulating a few pieces of Seattle's Super Bowl team, but other GM's in Seattle contributed as well.  There have been extensive evaluations of his moves as GM in Seattle, and you can read a good one here.

Since: Nov 15, 2009
Posted on: December 22, 2009 1:10 pm

The cost of (wanted) success

Reading Prisco's articles are just excruciating.  And yet, I read them often.  Simply a person I enjoy disliking. 

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2009 12:43 pm

The cost of (wanted) success

He should never have gotten rid of Savage.  I think Savage had a plan that was going to work.  He was building the team thru the draft.  He had some weapons in Braylon and Winslow.  He got the Left tackle of the future and as a browns fan i could see light.  But then everyone gets up in arms after a bad season and there goes progress.  Lerner brings in Mangini a white thinner version of Romeo.  Then they get rid of the only weapons on the roster.  The browns are doomed for the forseeable future. 

Since: Apr 8, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2009 12:28 pm

a start

the holmgren hire is something cleveland fans wanted.  he is a proven winner is all aspects of the nfl.  i do believe that he will have the president title and hire his own gm.  one name that pops out is ron wolf from the packer days.  if wolf is available and willing to work with holmgren, nothing but positive can come out of it.  as a cleveland fan, the front office is in disarray, the team is soft and short on talent, and members of the coaching staff have no business being near a football field (see brian daboll).  it looks as if they have a qb that can manage a game, decent rbs, a strong left-center o-line, a deep d-line, and some decent lbs.  that said, GLARING holes in the secondary, wr, te, right side o-line, and depth all over definitely need to be addressed with the draft and free agency.  with the browns well under the cap next year and eleven picks, it would not be impossible to think that the browns could be playoff contenders next year.  it worked in miami with parcells doing the exact same thing holmgren appears to have.  however, i've seen this before and this opinion could be written exactly the same next season too.  good luck, brownies.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2009 12:27 pm

The cost of (wanted) success

Wasted $$ again on some castoff from another team. Walrus couldn't get it done in Seattle and they are awful. Why would the Browns want him, and at that price??

As a Browns fan,  I see only another bad move and more misery. 11 draft picks to waste, just as he did in Seattle and that is why they are in the shape they are in.

Again, I curse my father for my love of the Browns. Lerner is just another rich kid. He doesn't care how he spends it since he didn't earn it. I wish he would leave my Browns alone and now I have to hope the guy who couldn't beat Crennel in a game is the answer.

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: December 22, 2009 4:01 am

The cost of (wanted) success

great reply bud and here's hoping he makes the browns a better team and the steeler - brown rivalry comes back to life!!!
I think you showed prisco how a smart football fan writes an article. good job!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2009 1:38 am

What if?

Randy Lerner is trying to land Holmgren as President, GM, and Coach all rolled into one? Money saver!

[Just kidding, I think Jim Zorn's playcalling has had an effect on my brain]

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2009 1:37 am

What if?

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