Jim Donovan: Lerner family did their best

12:15 PM, Aug 2, 2012   |    comments
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Getty Images: George Rose

BEREA -- There is new ownership for the Cleveland Browns.

Randy Lerner has sold the Browns to Knoxville, Tennessee businessman, Jimmy Haslam II in excess of $1 billion. 

This has been a difficult decision to arrive at for the Lerner family. It was the wish of Al Lerner, when he bought the team in 1999 for $530 million, to build the Browns not just into a winner but into the Cadillac franchise in the NFL. I think we can all agree. We haven't been watching a Cadillac on the field.

In fairness for Randy Lerner, being an NFL owner was not #1 on his bucket list. And he tried and spent millions in his efforts to bring general managers, coaches and players here to the Browns that would win. But the numbers don't lie, Browns football has been filled with too many losing seasons since 1999. Lerner feels he gave it his best and I agree. But it was going to take longer.

So here comes Jimmy Haslam, a very minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers for now. But his wish has always been to own his own team. He like the Lerners is valued in the billions.

He will learn soon that Cleveland craves a winner and lives and dies on what happens on those Sundays at Browns Stadium.


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