In a matter of days, the Cleveland Browns cleaned house. After firing head coach Freddie Kitchens on Sunday evening, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam parted ways with general manager John Dorsey earlier this week. The Browns disappointed massively in 2019 after a big offseason, but plenty of talent remains on Cleveland’s roster and both jobs could be appealing gigs.
Enter two individuals with strong ties to the Green Bay Packers as candidates for each of those positions. First is Mike McCarthy, the former Packers head coach who was unceremoniously fired with a month remaining in the 2018 season. McCarthy is reportedly interviewing with the Browns today, as Haslam has evidently decided to hire a head coach before bringing a GM on board.
Interestingly, however, Haslam told reporters today that the new general manager will come from outside the Browns organization. He went so far as to say that that former Packers executive Eliot Wolf, who worked in Cleveland over the past two years under Dorsey, is evidently not under consideration for GM, and that he will remain in his current post as assistant GM.
Instead of Wolf being a candidate, multiple sources are naming a current Packers personnel man as a possible target for that GM job if McCarthy ends up as the coach. That individual is Jon-Eric Sullivan, currently one of the Packers’ co-directors of player personnel. A pair of ESPN reporters — NFL reporter Dan Graziano and Packers beat reporter Rob Demovsky, respectively — both mentioned Sullivan as a possibility.
Sullivan shares his current title with John Wojciechowski, and he is one of the longest-tenured members of the Packers’ front office. 2020 is his 16th year with the team, starting out as a college scout. It would be an odd arrangement for Wolf to serve as assistant GM underneath Sullivan when he was Sullivan’s superior for several years in Green Bay.
Of course, the Sullivan possibility is mentioned as being dependent on McCarthy getting the head coaching position. While Haslam has said that the Browns are only looking at coaches with NFL experience, there are recent reports connecting them with former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer, among others. Still, McCarthy could be a good fit for a team looking to develop Baker Mayfield at quarterback.
Stay tuned and keep a close eye on Cleveland in the coming days.