CLEVELAND -- Owner Jimmy Haslam is focused on helping turn around the fortunes of the Cleveland Browns, not on selling them.
At Heinz Field following Sunday's 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers completed an 0-16 season, Haslam vehemently denied rumors that some within the Cleveland business community feel he is positioning himself to sell the team.
“I don't know where that would come from,” Haslam said. “That really aggravates me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Our execution might not be very good, and I'll take all the grief for that, but our commitment, you can't question. I unequivocally say that's false. We plan on owning the Browns for a long time and turning this franchise around.”
With Sunday's loss to the Steelers, the Browns went winless in a 16-game season for the first time in franchise history, and their 17th consecutive loss overall dropped the organization to a league-worst 1-31 since the opening game of 2016.
The Browns have not won on a Sunday afternoon since December 13, 2015. The 33 straight Sunday losses are an NFL record, and their 4-49 mark in the last 53 outings is the worst in the league in that four-year span.
Additionally, this season, the Browns set the record for the worst 28-game stretch in NFL history, as they bested the previous mark of 2-26 set by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 1976-1977 seasons with a 1-27 mark that got four losses worse since Week 13.
The Browns became just the second team in NFL history, along with the 2008 Detroit Lions, to finish winless in a 16-game season.
“I remember standing here and apologizing to our fans for the poor job that we had done as owners, and I would just reiterate that again,” Haslam said. “Our record's unacceptable, and we accept full responsibility for that.
“We've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of work to do, and I'm anxious to get after it.”
Although the Browns have struggled at historical levels under coach Hue Jackson, Haslam pledged support of his head coach and confirmed he would be back for the 2018 season.
“It's all of the above, ownership, personnel, coaching,” Haslam said. “We can all do better, okay? And I don't think anybody would tell you different. I know I could do a hell of a lot better.
“Listen, I don't think anybody predicted 0-16. That was disappointing. I think the process has been uneven. I think we've got the ability, or the opportunity to move substantially forward this offseason for next year, and that's what we've got to do. Talk is cheap. It's one thing for me to say it. It's another to go do it.”