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When the Browns made the decision to fire coach Rob Chudzinski last week, and effectively let all of his staff go as well, owner Jimmy Haslam was making yet another very expensive decision. A year prior Haslam decided to part with team president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert, coach Pat Shurmur and their staffs as well, a move that several sources have estimated at having cost him roughly $30-million in all.
Firing Chudzinski, and letting go of high-priced coordinators Norv Turner and likely Ray Horton, will likely cost another $20 million, sources said, and then Haslam is obviously going to have to now pay an entire new coaching staff that is coming on board. Almost all these contracts include “offsets,” which means the amount Haslam would owe his former employees is mitigated by what their new employers pay them, but even factoring in the fact that Chudzinski, Turner and others will find work as NFL assistants, the sources agreed that ultimately the moves Haslam will make between the end of the 2012 season -- when he let go of the Holmgren regime -- through the hiring of this new staff will amount to a $50 million commitment.
Even by NFL standards, that's a fairly staggering number. While many have wondered whether the ongoing federal investigation into Haslam's company, Pilot Flying J, would impact his ability to fully fund his team, Haslam's actions if anything have indicated otherwise.