CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns’ near four-week search for their next general manager may have come to an end, as Andrew Berry reportedly has agreed to terms on a contract to become the franchise’s top personnel man.
A former Browns executive and current Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations, Berry, 32, will be the youngest general manager in NFL history.
A Harvard graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in computer science, Berry previously worked in the Browns’ front office from 2016-2018, serving as the vice president of player personnel under general managers Sashi Brown and John Dorsey before joining Philadelphia’s front office ahead of the 2019 season.
Reaction was swift on Twitter and several Browns fans sounded hopeful after Berry was brought back into the fold.
While some were hopeful Berry could turn around the fortunes of a franchise with a 17-year playoff drought and a 12-season streak of sub .500 records, others remember that he was a part of a front office that built teams who combined to go 1-31 in 2016-2017.
The 2017 Browns completed only the second winless 16-game season in NFL history.
Wonder…and not the good kind
Then, there were those who wondered why the Browns were going to “run it back” with Berry or commented on chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta getting exactly what he wanted from the coaching and general manager searches, men in Kevin Stefanski and Berry who are heavy into analytics.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that there was some hesitation on Berry’s part to rejoin the Browns’ front office because of the near constant turnover since the Haslam family purchased a majority stake in the franchise in October of 2012.
The Browns just hired their fifth head coach and fifth general manager since the Haslams took control of the team.
After parting ways with GM Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine following a 3-13 season in 2015, the Browns turned over control of the 53-man roster to their former general counsel, Sashi Brown, and he embarked on a complete teardown and rebuild of the team.
Brown’s rebuilding efforts resulted in a 1-31 record over the 2016 and 2017 seasons and he was dismissed with four games remaining in 2017, only to be replaced by someone with a football-heavy background in John Dorsey.
Following the dismissal of Freddie Kitchens after the team posted a disappointing 6-10 record in the 2019 season, Dorsey and the Browns mutually parted ways.