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.
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.