View Full Version : Browns set to fire Savage

12-30-2005, 03:05 PM

The Cleveland Browns plan to fire senior vice president and general manager Phil Savage, NFL sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Friday.

The split is over "philosophical differences," primarily salary cap management. The announcement could come as early as Friday, Mortensen reported. Savage could not be reached for comment.

Atlanta Falcons chief administration officer Ray Anderson is a candidate to replace Savage, who joined the Browns on Jan. 6.

The Browns, who are 5-10 in coach Romeo Crennel's first season in Cleveland, play Baltimore on Sunday.

Savage spent the past nine seasons with the Baltimore Ravens organization, including 2003-04 as the Ravens' director of player personnel. He is known as one of the NFL's top talent evaluators.

In Baltimore, the 14-year veteran of the league, worked directly with general manager Ozzie Newsome to oversee college and pro scouting. While there, Savage was involved in many of the day-to-day operations of the team and also negotiated contracts of late-round draft picks.

12-31-2005, 07:24 PM
Turns out the Browns changed their minds.


Savage still running Browns
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
December 30, 2005

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Browns president John Collins denied Friday that the club was planning to fire general manager Phil Savage, who was hired less than a year ago to help fix Cleveland's floundering franchise.

Collins, though, wasn't as adamant when asked if Savage would resign.

"I don't think so," he said. "Phil is raw about what happened, and understandably so."

ESPN.com reported Friday that Savage, Baltimore's former personnel director who was hired on Jan. 6 to stabilize a fractured front office in Cleveland, was on the verge of being fired over "philosophical differences."

Later, the report said Savage was negotiating with owner Randy Lerner and Collins to stay with the club in a reduced role, running the personnel department. Collins said the Browns have had internal discussions about adding to their management team to work with Savage, who may not be in favor of sharing his duties.

After rumors began about a shake-up just two days before Cleveland's season finale against Baltimore, Collins said he met with Savage, Lerner and coach Romeo Crennel to discuss several matters.

"We sat down and we basically renewed our vows," said Collins, who added in a statement on the team's Web site that Savage "will continue to be our senior vice president and general manager."

Savage, who had been planning to scout bowl games this weekend, could not be reached in his office or at his home.

Savage's uncertain status with the Browns is similar to Butch Davis' final days as Cleveland's coach last season. Davis left with three years on his contract after four tumultuous seasons.

Collins, who joined the Browns in 2004, said the Browns' front office is about to undergo some changes, with financial vice president Doug Jacobs and chief operating officer Lew Merletti taking on new roles.

Collins said Mike Keenan, the NFL management council's finance director, will join the Browns to replace Jacobs and there have been ongoing discussions about bringing in others to upgrade Cleveland's management team.

Savage and Crennel are the most recent additions to a front office that hasn't worked together for a year. Collins said the group is still finding its way together, and that there are bound to be problems.

"We've felt our way through this season," Collins said. "Has there been moments when we could have made better decisions? Have there been times when the communication could have been better? Yeah. But we're getting better."

Collins said he and Savage "have a mutual respect and hopefully we can have some fun together."

Considered one of the NFL's top talent evaluators for his success in nine years drafting players for the Ravens, the 40-year-old Savage was brought to Cleveland to rebuild the Browns' roster, and he has spent most of this season on the road scouting college players.

Savage's strength is his ability to find quality players, and in his first draft with the Browns, he selected wide receiver Braylon Edwards (No. 3 overall) in the first round and quarterback Charlie Frye in the third.

Edwards, who sat out part of training camp in a contract holdout, tore a knee ligament in a Dec. 4 game against Jacksonville, ending his rookie season. Frye will make his fifth start on Sunday when the Browns (5-10) host the Ravens.

The rest of Cleveland's first draft class under Savage has gotten little playing time for Crennel.

Savage's arrival was heralded as a positive step for the Browns, who are just 35-77 since they returned to the NFL in 1999 as an expansion team. The club's progress has been undermined by poor draft picks, injuries and instability.

While speculation swirled about his future in Cleveland, Savage finalized a four-year contract extension Friday for cornerback Leigh Bodden, a three-year veteran who has played well filling in for the injured Gary Baxter.

12-31-2005, 08:38 PM
Savage, who had been planning to scout bowl games this weekend, could not be reached in his office or at his home.That's my idea of a good gig. Scouting bowl games in person. I'm sure that one could get a much better idea of how fast Reggie Bush runs by seeing him in person than watching him on TV. ;)

01-01-2006, 04:28 AM
It was never true to begin with. And the Brown's FO is pretty upset with ESPN's Chris Mortensen for not doing better research on the situation, and trying to make something out of nothing.

Browns respond to Savage rumors
December 30, 2005

In response to rumors that were widely circulated Friday, the Cleveland Browns wish to reiterate that Phil Savage is and will continue to be our senior vice president and general manager.

“Although it is our policy not to respond to rumors, in fairness to our fans, we felt it necessary to dispel them,” Browns president and chief executive officer John Collins said. “It was unfortunate and very unfair to the organization and especially to our fans, but we are happy to put this behind us and focus on our game this Sunday and the busy offseason ahead."


01-01-2006, 11:27 AM
I think Norv Turner is toast. Yes, the Raiders sucked again. But they sucked even more this year.

01-01-2006, 12:31 PM
Finding out this morning, and according to the Akron Beacon Journal, that there was truth to the story, but that the Browns backed off after the stroy broke and fans expressed their outrage.


McManamon: Savage Was To Be Fired
Date: Dec 31, 2005

Pat McManamon (Akron Beacon-Journal) is now confirming reports that the Cleveland Browns intended to fire General Manager Phil Savage before stories about the intended dismissal broke.

Saturday evening, Akron-Beacon Journal beat writer Pat McManamon become the first local journalist outside of BerniesInsiders.com to confirm an ESPN story that the Cleveland Browns intended to fire General Manager Phil Savage.

From the Beacon-Journal's copyrighted story:

"Was Savage really going to be fired? Yes. Sources familiar with the discussions said that a decision had been made, and Savage was going to be let go Monday or Tuesday."

McManamon's report ties to information provided to Bernie's Insiders about the situation and ties to our analysis on Friday afternoon that media and fan reaction may have played a significant role in the team's apparent back-pedaling on the matter.

Team President John Collins stated on the team's "flagship" station WTAM Friday afternoon that Phil Savage "has not been fired" and "will not be fired". Collins also used the team's web site to slap at the media, calling the rumors "unfortunate and very unfair to the organization".

01-01-2006, 12:35 PM
The Browns are a mess. They have been a ship without a rudder since '99.

01-01-2006, 12:44 PM
The Browns are a mess. They have been a ship without a rudder since '99.

I wouldn't go as far to say that.

You got a new coach who comes in highly respected and credentialed. He and Savage have their work cut out for them, that is for sure. But they have made some very positive moves this year - both in addition and subtraction - that has set this team in the right direction.

Key injuries and trying to find the right presonnel for a 3-4 defensive scheme. But there have been positives, along with highs and lows.

01-01-2006, 02:50 PM
John Collins is the problem IMO. He's got Randy Lerner's backpocket and is a wanna-be-jock-sniffer. If Mr. Collins wants a winning football club, he'd let the people who have experience with the football side to do what they need to do.

Mr. Collins is a very good marketing individual. He's highly over his head as President of the Browns.

I hope they fix this soon, but I am guessing its still 3-4 years away.

01-02-2006, 05:51 PM
Brown fans are calling for Collins to be fired. He's a three piece-dbl breasted suit pencil pusher. :lol:

Savage has forgotten more about the game of football then Collins has ever known.

This was a "power play" by Collins, and the fans and media are on his case big time. He may be the one on the losing end of it. ;)

alex trevino
01-02-2006, 10:21 PM
Oh I misread the Title of the Thread. I thought it said

"Browns SET FIRE to Savage!"


Reds Fanatic
01-03-2006, 10:44 AM
It turns out it is not Savage being fired but the Browns will have a new team president as John Collins is stepping down from being the team president.


There will be a shakeup in the Cleveland Browns' front office but it apparently will not involve general manager Phil Savage.

In a remarkable twist, sources confirmed Tuesday to ESPN.com that John Collins, who has served as Browns' team president since May 1, 2004, will not continue in that capacity. It is unclear whether Collins will remain with the team or move on to the corporate holdings company of owner Randy Lerner, as some other Cleveland officials have recently done.

There have been rumors, adamantly denied by Collins, that he preferred to move back to New York. Before joining the Cleveland franchise, Collins worked 15 years in the league office in a variety of positions. He is a New York native who spent much of his scholastic and professional life in the city.

How the Cleveland front office makeover will shake out when it is completed remains to be seen. It appears that Savage, one of the league's most respected talent evaluators, will be part of the front office team, and The Akron Beacon Journal reported Tuesday that Savage would stay on as general manager.

Last week, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Savage would be fired because of "philosophical differences" with some members of the organization, and several sources confirmed that was the case. But the public reaction to the report was so strong, and the backlash so negative, it appears Browns officials reconsidered the move.

Coach Romeo Crennel also met with Lerner and supported keeping Savage, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Collins said that the Browns' management team huddled on Friday night and "renewed [its] vows," but even then speculation swirled that Savage might still depart.

01-03-2006, 02:16 PM
Glad to see the Browns organization got it right......for once.

Now...lets start worrying about winning football games.