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.