Report: John Fox is interested in Browns’ job

According to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Panthers’ head coach John Fox is reportedly “very interested” in the Browns’ job if it becomes available this offseason.

1. Fox is “very interested” in the possibility, according to a league source.

2. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson would be willing to arrive at a contract settlement to get out of the $6 million owed Fox for the 2010 season.

3. Richardson, seeing a potential owners’ lockout in 2011, would not replace Fox with Bill Cowher, but might promote from within.

4. Behind the scenes, most if not all of Mike Holmgren’s coaching and executive “ready lists” are made up of clients of agent Bob LaMonte. Fox is in that stable.

This doesn’t make sense to me. Why would Richardson allow Fox to go if he wasn’t going to replace him with Cowher? The Panthers have been the model of inconsistency under Fox over the past couple years, but his teams always play hard and usually find a way to finish respectable. So why allow Fox to jettison if Cowher (who has been linked to Carolina before) wasn’t going to be his replacement? (Unless there’s an internal candidate that Richardson really wants to promote that I’m just not aware of.)

The Browns have an interesting dilemma on their hands with Eric Mangini. Cleveland finished the season winning four in a row, including a 13-6 victory over the defending champion Steelers in mid December. But this was also the same team that looked completely inept for 13 weeks under Mangini, so why should Holmgren believe that Mangini has the Browns heading in the right direction? Four wins over the Steelers, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars is nice, but that’s the only thing they were: Four wins over the Steelers, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars.

We’ll see if there’s any teeth to this Fox rumor and monitor Holmgren’s big decision regarding Mangini.


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