The Cleveland Browns have fired head coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer following a 3-13 season.
Pettine went 10-22 in two years, dropping 18 of his final 21 games after a promising 7-4 start in 2014. The Browns announced Pettine and Farmer’s dismissals shortly after a 28-12 home loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, who wiggled into the AFC playoffs.
“We greatly appreciate Ray’s and Mike’s dedication and hard work while with the Cleveland Browns,” owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “We’ve made this decision because we don’t believe our football team was positioned well for the future. We are all disappointed with where we are and we take full responsibility. We will approach the search for our next football coach and executives to lead our football operations with a clear vision regarding what we need to do to build a successful organization.”
Pettine and Haslam met at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Pettine’s job security had been in doubt for months, and not even Haslam’s vow at the start of training camp not to “blow things up” could stop another regime change in Cleveland.
Pettine was the team’s seventh full-time coach since 1999.
Firing Pettine might cost the Browns their best player. Left tackle Joe Thomas left open the possibility that he may want to leave Cleveland in light of such a change, saying the results of the change will determine what he does.
Thomas, who has been to nine Pro Bowls in his nine seasons, said each change gets tougher, and he now is growing more aware of his “football mortality.”
This was the first time Thomas went away from saying he wanted to play in Cleveland his entire career.
“I don’t know,” Thomas said. “We’ll have to see what happens after this.”
Thomas has three years left on his contract, but he could ask for a trade if he wants to leave. He also spoke highly of Pettine.
“I think he’s a good coach,” Thomas said. “I think he’s one of the best ones we’ve had.”
ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon contributed to this report.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.