Cleveland Browns sack coach Pettine after final lack of National Football League season

Cleveland Browns sack coach Pettine after final lack of National Football League season

"We've made this hard decision because we don't believe our football team and football operations were positioned well for the future", Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam wrote in a letter posted to the team's website Sunday.

Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer attends practice August 10, 2015, at the NFL football team's training camp in Berea, Ohio.

Lee said he didn't want to "disrespect" his teammates and coaches by playing at less than 100 percent.

It's obvious that Manziel and Pettine didn't get along whatsoever, and one could suspect that the folks in Cleveland's front office, including Farmer, weren't fond of Manziel's off-the-field antics, either - especially after he had really only shown flashes of potential on the field in his two years with Cleveland. "I'm not going to answer anything about that".

Both moves were widely expected, with the Browns finishing with their seventh consecutive losing season, and the franchises 11th in the last twelve years.

Haslam wants to hire the head coach first and then the general manager.

Mike Pettine is the third coach Haslam has fired since he bought the team in 2012. The Browns hold the No. 2 pick behind the Tennessee Titans and the No. 32 pick. Before a home game against the Bengals last month, a plane flew over Levi's Stadium with a banner that read "Hold Jed Accountable", a reference to his remarks at the end of the 2014 season inviting everyone to do so. "As I've told you, we expect a lot out of players on the field, and I'll just leave it at that". Whether a Pettine intermediary had the conversation with the owner is not known.

A report came out that Johnny Manziel was spotted in Las Vegas on Saturday night. When Manziel failed to report, the Browns reportedly tried to contact Manziel by phone and couldn't reach him.

Maybe if he keeps doing it enough, Haslam will finally get it right.

Browns vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste would not confirm for USA TODAY if Manziel was in Cleveland.

Manziel started in eight of his 14 games as a professional (loose term) in Cleveland. Manziel, 23, has been videotaped drinking, including on Christmas Eve. The Browns are not commenting on a report that Manziel went to Las Vegas on the day before the season finale.

Black Monday doesn't begin for a few more hours, but a couple of teams have gotten a head start on the action by firing their head coaches on Sunday night. Pettine received two full seasons in Cleveland, which is a rarity of sorts for a dysfunctional organization - current Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski received just one season. Our record is that we have won three of our last 21 games.

The offseason checklist is pretty clear: Find a coach, find a general manager (the coach will help look!) and figure out the quarterback situation.

Payton still has two years remaining on his contract. However, he and the team parted ways after an 8-8 season in 2014 that left him with a 44-19-1 record.

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Manziel's agents will not release his location. Rooney knows how to run a football team.

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