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#pounditSunday, March 3, 2024

Browns owners make honest admission about their struggles

Jimmy Haslam on the field

The Cleveland Browns have had just one good season since Jimmy and Dee Haslam purchased the team back in 2012. Fans were optimistic about the new ownership group when they took over, but even the Haslams are not stunned by the poor results. Why? They had no clue what they were doing at first.

The Haslams spoke at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach last week about their decade at the helm of the Browns. They made a somewhat surprising admission.

“We did a lousy job at first,” Jimmy Haslam said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I mean, let’s just face it. It’s probably fair to say we didn’t know what we were doing. In some ways, I go, ’10 years, we haven’t won very many games.’ So I look at it that way.”

Jimmy and Dee purchased the Browns for $1 billion midway through the 2012 season. The team has made the playoffs just once since, when they went 11-5 in 2020. Fans were optimistic after the Haslams bought the Browns, as the Haslams were previously minority owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite that, Dee said “you don’t know anything” when you take over your own team. Jimmy agreed.

“We get Super Bowl rings before we even pay for our share,” Jimmy said of his time with the Steelers. “Listen, in business, the hiring cycle is different. There are usually people to train you. The NFL is great, but you’ve all heard us say this: There’s no primer.”

You can see why the Haslams were so desperate to acquire Deshaun Watson despite the ongoing sexual assault scandal. The way they handled that trade irritated some other owners, but they want to establish a winning culture. They have done the opposite in Cleveland since taking over in 2012.

Photo: Nov 3, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam before the game against the Denver Broncos iat Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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