Another one bites the dust: Browns, John Dorsey part ways "mutually"

GM Dorsey becomes fifth top football executive shown the door by Haslams since 2012

Daryl Ruiter
December 31, 2019 - 2:50 pm

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns and general manager John Dorsey have parted ways.

Termed a “mutual” decision by Dorsey and the Browns in statements released by both parties Tuesday afternoon, Dorsey becomes the fifth general manager booted by the Haslams since they bought the team in 2012.

"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,” owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said in a statement released by team. “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.”

Unfortunately, the owners can't be fired too. 

Dorsey is out less than 48 hours after head coach Freddie Kitchens was fired Sunday night as the Haslams move forward with their desire to restructure the front office and its operations once again.

“As the role of the general manager continues to evolve in this league we felt there were areas that needed to be reassessed,” the Haslams said. “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.”

In two seasons under Dorsey’s football operation, the Browns went 13-18-1 but the team fell short and finished 6-10 after being expected to be a contender in 2019.

“When I took this job, the history of this storied franchise and the passion of our fans was an integral part of my decision,” Dorsey said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

It appears Dorsey lost a power struggle with chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta, who doesn’t even make his home in Cleveland, as the Haslams aim to remake the front office and search for a head coach, again.

“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,” Dorsey said in a statement. “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.”

The hiring of Kitchens was Dorsey’s most egregious error after the Haslams turned the 2018 coaching search over to him.

The selection of offensive lineman Austin Corbett, who was traded this year to the Rams, 33rd overall in 2018 and receiver Antonio Callaway, cut in November following multiple NFL suspensions for drug policy violations, were two major misses by Dorsey during his first draft that netted quarterback Baker Mayfield, cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb – all cornerstone pieces for the franchise moving forward. Ward and Chubb have already been selected to Pro Bowls.

Although he his record as the top football executive was far from perfect, Dorsey flipped a roster that went 1-31, into a potential contender through a series of aggressive trades that netted key contributors the last two seasons in safety Damarious Randall and receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.

Since the Haslams bought the Browns in 2012, they have fired five head coaches and general managers along with two team presidents while amassing a 32-88-1 record.

“As we conveyed on Sunday and our players reiterated yesterday, bringing in a strong leader with our head coach is our priority,” The Haslams said. “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.”

As is the case with any front office change, another roster overhaul is probably likely once Kitchens’ replacement is hired along with a new front office.