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A Guide to the Cleveland Browns’ Nightmare Offseason

Stashed in: Ohio, Grantland!, @josh_gordonxii, Cleveland Browns

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Wait. What? Tell me more about this PowerPoint.

The concept of “rock bottom” is a myth. Things can always get worse, no matter how bad they may already be — just ask the Cleveland Browns. In the last month alone, their star wideout has received a one-year suspension for drinking alcohol, their quarterback of the future has checked himself into a rehab facility, and their GM is being investigated for illegally texting down to the sideline during games. Oh, and their former offensive coordinator put together some sort of lengthy PowerPoint presentation detailing his grievances with the franchise.

It was only, like, the 17th-most damning revelation in this Jason La Canfora report, so your ignorance is understandable. According to La Canfora, Kyle Shanahan “presented [Browns head coach Mike] Pettine with a 32-point presentation on why he wanted to get out of his contract.” It must have featured some breathtaking animations, because Pettine was so moved by it that he subsequently allowed Shanahan to join the Falcons. Can the hackers at Anonymous please make this slide show public? The universe needs answers to questions like “How did Kyle Shanahan feel about the Browns’ decision to pass on Odell Beckham Jr. for Justin Gilbert?” and “Does Kyle Shanahan use clip art?”

Speaking of Shanahan, whom did Pettine hire as his replacement?

John DeFilippo, who most recently served as the quarterbacks coach of the Oakland Raiders — they of the NFL’s 26th-ranked passing offense. TheBrowns’ press release touted DeFilippo’s “track record of developing young quarterbacks” and proceeded to praise his work with … wait for it … Mark Sanchez, Terrelle Pryor, and Matt McGloin.

Geez, this is a disaster.

Well, at least DeFilippo has some promising young talent to work with, right?

Maybe in 2016. That’s when Josh Gordon is eligible to apply for reinstatement from his yearlong suspension, which, to reiterate, was for consuming a substance that is promoted endlessly by the NFL. Meanwhile, La Canfora says that free-agent tight end Jordan Cameron “is not interested in returning to Cleveland,” and Manziel, remember, is in rehab following one of the most disastrous rookie seasons of all time.

Let’s go back to the Gordon thing. I concede that his suspension is sort of bullshit, but doesn’t he have to be held accountable for continually violating a policy that’s written into his contract?

This is a common line of reasoning, and while rules are rules, Gordon’s ghostwritten explanation on the matter is worth reading. Gordon claims that he thought his “league-imposed restriction on drinking had expired at the end of the regular season” and says his positive alcohol test stemmed from a widely Instagrammed trip to Las Vegas with teammates and since-fired receivers coach Mike McDaniel, who watched as the Pro Bowl receiver enjoyed “two beers and two drinks,” thus ending his 2015 campaign nine months before the start of the season. In this respect, the Browns failed Gordon as much as Gordon failed that test.

At the very least, it certainly is a mess.

I guess the one constant in this mess is Haslam. What has he been up to since paying his way out of that rebate scandal?

Johnny manziel jimmy haslam Imgur

I can tell you firsthand that Browns fans still pray for an indictment every day, largely out of fear that Haslam will fire Pettine if the team doesn’t drastically improve next season. According to La Canfora, Haslam has created a culture in which “the division between ownership and day-to-day coaching decisions [is] becoming increasingly blurred,” as we see in everything from the drafting of Manziel to team president Alec Scheiner joining Pettine for a film session at 6 a.m. every Monday. It is most certainly a mess.

Anything else to report?

Yes! The Browns just raised season-ticket prices by 30 percent.

so brutal

Yeah it's hard to have hope. And what an awful owner. 

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