The Cleveland Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one season at the helm, last week. Cleveland went 4-12 in 2013 after starting at an encouraging 3-2 through the first five weeks of the season.
The Browns went 1-10 from Week 6 on, however, and found themselves pondering their future, again.
Since 1999, the Browns have had six separate head coaches and had just two winning seasons — the last coming in 2007 when they went 10-6 – and one playoff appearance in 2002 when they went 9-7 and lost in the Wild Card round.
Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur and now Chudzinski have all fell victim to the Cleveland coaching carousel during that time.
According to a report from Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, and cleveland.com, the dollar amount owed to those coaches after their dismissals total about $49 million, including $10.5 million still owed to Chudzinski with the three years left on his contract.
The others? Shurmer, 2 years and $5.6 million, Mangini 2 years and $7.8, Crennel 3 years and $10, Davis 3 years and $12, and Palmer 3 years and $3 million, per the report.
From the cleveland.com report:
Put another way, the sum could cover the city’s cost for FirstEnergy Stadium renovations — $30 million over the next 15 years – with plenty left over for down payments on Browns’ All-Pro free agents Alex Mack and T.J. Ward.
Most settlements are not made public, so some figures could vary. Often, however, they get leaked to the media. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Monday the Browns owed Chudzinski about $10.5 million over the next three years. Shurmur was due roughly $5.6 million at the time of his dismissal.
So, as if losing and switching coaching regimes seemingly every season wasn’t frustrating enough for Browns’ fans, there is the reality that money is being paid to coaches not even helping the team in any capacity – that could be going elsewhere.