The Cleveland Browns reportedly fired executive vice president Sashi Brown, the team announced Thursday morning.
Brown has spent the past two seasons leading the Browns, assembling a 1-27 record since he took over.
In a statement issued to the media, team owner Jimmy Haslam said:
“We have great appreciation and gratitude for Sashi’s commitment and leadership to our organization but believe transitioning to someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams is critical to the future of the Cleveland Browns. Today we informed Sashi that we were going in a new direction. The 2018 draft and offseason is pivotal for our franchise, we need to ensure that we maximize our opportunity for success; with our picks, free agency and building our roster. Hue Jackson will remain our coach and will return for the 2018 season but we feel it is necessary to take significant steps to strengthen our personnel department. We have begun the process of having productive conversations regarding leadership of our football operations and will provide further updates when appropriate. We thank Sashi for all his hard work and dedication to the Cleveland Browns.”
Sashi Brown himself later released a statement through the club on his ouster:
I want this to be real and clear, the way I know Cleveland and Browns fans can appreciate: Our win-loss record since I became executive vice president isn’t going to cut it.
We worked hard. I am so grateful to the people I worked with throughout my four-plus years with the Browns, particularly the people I worked with the past two years. We embarked on a mission to rebuild the Browns for long-term, sustainable success. We were committed and aggressive in our approach, even if unorthodox at times. We made dramatic changes and put in place a foundation on which championships can be built.
Obviously, the Browns have not yet achieved the turnaround we wanted for a franchise and the best fans in the NFL, who deserve it more than any other in sports. I know that turnaround is coming.I thank Dee and Jimmy and the rest of the Haslam family for taking a chance on me. And when that turnaround happens, wherever I am, I will smile – more than a little bittersweetly – and say, to myself, 'Go Browns!'
In a press conference Monday afternoon, head coach Hue Jackson (who will be returning in 2018) took responsibility for the team's poor record and called Brown "a good person." He also denied he had won any sort of "power struggle."
"I don't look at it that way," Jackson said. "I look at it like I'm coaching a football team. Where we are today, the org. made decision to do something different."
Left tackle Joe Thomas, who is out for the season with an injury, praised the decision to retain Jackson as head coach.
“I think consistency within the coaching staff is a huge thing,” Thomas said. “Hue is a great coach."
Rumors of tension between the coaching staff and the front office (along with discontent from the Haslams) had been escalating in recent weeks, notably after a failed deadline trade to bring Cincinnati Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron to Cleveland.
A replacement for Brown has not yet been announced, but reports indicate the team is targeting former Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey.
Brown joined the organization in 2013 and was promoted to VP in 2016.
Stay with WKYC.com as more information becomes available.