CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Browns executive Andrew Berry is set to interview for the team’s general manager vacancy today, but backup plans appear to be in place if he does not get or accept an offer to return to the franchise for whom he worked from 2016 to 2018.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Browns are not just competing with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Berry is currently the vice president of football operations, but also, the Carolina Panthers could be in the mix for his services in the near future.
“Look for Berry to interview with Carolina after the draft if the GM job in Cleveland doesn’t happen,” Schefter posted to Twitter Friday.
Schefter’s report backs up stories from earlier in the week that said there was some hesitation on Berry’s part to rejoin the Browns’ front office because of the near constant turnover since the Haslam family purchased a majority stake in the franchise in October of 2012.
The Browns just hired their fifth head coach and are looking for their fifth general manager since the Haslams took control of the team.
“I’m told there is league-wide interest in Andrew Berry,” Dustin Fox, the afternoon drive co-host on Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan, wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “He does not HAVE to take the Browns GM position. He has options and is also wary based off of what happened in the past.”
After parting ways with GM Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine following a 3-13 season in 2015, the Browns turned over control of the 53-man roster to their former general counsel, Sashi Brown, and he embarked on a complete teardown and rebuild of the team.
Brown’s rebuilding efforts resulted in a 1-31 record over the 2016 and 2017 seasons and he was dismissed with four games remaining in 2017, only to be replaced by someone with a football-heavy background in John Dorsey.
Following the dismissal of Freddie Kitchens after the team posted a disappointing 6-10 record in the 2019 season, Dorsey and the Browns mutually parted ways.
“The Eagles think highly of him, he has a really good job there,” Zac Jackson, a Browns reporter for The Athletic, said on “The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima” on Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan earlier this week. “I think this has always been the intent, to bring him here and let him be the guy, but if he has any hesitation, and I know it’s been reported that he does, it would only be because of what’s gone on here. Until you build that culture and until you know the plug’s not going to get pulled on you, of course you’re going to have hesitation.
“Coaches get second, third, fourth chances all the time. GMs really don’t. He’s only 32. Do I think that he’s ready? I don’t know. Smart people I know think that he is and the Haslams and (Paul) DePodesta being fans of his is certainly a big part of that. That would be the only hesitation. If this gets blown up, where does he go? He can kind of sit and wait.”