Mike Holmgren declines offer from Seahawks

ESPN.com is reporting that Mike Holmgren has declined the Seahawks’ offer for a senior leadership position.

“I sincerely thank Paul Allen and Tod for all their support over the years,” Holmgren said in a statement. “I thank them for reaching out to me and we conclude these discussions as friends.”

Holmgren has also been interested in joining the Cleveland Browns. He spent two days meeting with Browns owner Randy Lerner earlier this week.

Holmgren said on his radio show in Seattle on Friday that he planned to give Lerner an answer “sooner than later” but added there was no definite timetable. It may have accelerated after he declined an offer to rejoin the Seahawks.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for anybody,” Holmgren said of his visit to Cleveland. “It’s about as good a job situation as you could ask for in this business.”

One would think that Holmgren either wants a bigger role, more money or more power. If that’s the case, he’s going to get those three things in Cleveland, which probably means he has made up his mind to join the Browns.

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Why don’t the Seahawks want Holmgren back?

In the past couple days, it has been easy to get swept up in the Mike Holmgren-to-Cleveland rumors. But there’s one thing that has had me perplexed about the situation since the story broke: Why don’t the Seahawks want him back? After all, they do need a GM now that Tim Ruskell has decided to resign and Holmgren did lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl a couple years back.

So why wouldn’t the Hawks be tripping over themselves to retain Holmgren as their GM? The Seattle Times may have the answer:

The Seahawks need Holmgren.

There are, however, people close to owner Paul Allen who are reluctant to bring him back. There are people — just a few people — who had skirmishes with Holmgren in his previous incarnation as president and coach.

There are people in the organization who, wrongly, believe Holmgren has campaigned for this job and are offended by that perceived behavior.

If this is the result of just a few front office people that don’t want Holmgren in Seattle, then the Seahawks are making a mistake. Not everyone in every office setting will get along all the time. And unless Holmgren was walking around punching babies, then I don’t see what he could have done that was so bad that several people don’t want him back so he can help rebuild the Seahawks’ roster.

But alas, if the Seahawks do allow him to go to Cleveland without putting up much of a fight, they might look back at this situation one day and think what a huge mistake it was.

Report: Mangini could be out if Holmgren is hired

NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reports that if the Browns hire Mike Holmgren to run the football operations in Cleveland, head coach Eric Mangini would likely be shown the door.

Holmgren, retired for a year and nearing the end of his football career, likely would want a fresh direction for the team and his own coach. Specifically, he is likely to reach back to his Bill Walsh/West Coast family tree for his coach, seeking someone who shares the same philosophies, terminology, vernacular and football ideology.

Mangini comes from the Bill Belichick/Bill Parcells tree, which is the inverse as Walsh’s tree in many ways. Mangini also has been a controversial figure in Cleveland during his one year there, making it all the more likely that a new president might want to start from scratch with the coaching staff.

When Parcells got to Miami, he immediately fired Cam Cameron, who had only been the Dolphins’ head coach for one brutal season. It didn’t make sense for Parcells to retain Cameron when he wanted one of his guys (Tony Sparano) to run the team. The same could be said for Holmgren. If he doesn’t think Mangini is a fit, there’s no sense wasting another year to see if the two could work together. Cut bait and move on.

Since Holmgren is a West Coast guy, some of the names being thrown around as an eventual replacement for Mangini include Jon Gruden, Steve Mariucci (meh), Jim Zorn (ugh), Dick Jauron (ugh!) and Marty Mornhinweg (ugh!!). If I were a Cleveland fan, the only person that I would want to see walking the sidelines in that group is Gruden, although Mariucci wouldn’t be a horrible choice. The other three – Zorn, Jauron and Mornhinweg – have proven that they make better coordinators than head coaches.

Report: Browns offer Mike Holmgren a contract

According to WKYC-TV in Cleveland, the Browns have offered Mike Holmgren a contract in the $8-10 million per year range to be their football “czar.”

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Holmgren has indicated he’d like to speak with the Seahawks about their vacant general manager position, but the team is in the process of evaluating its own situation and has hired a search firm to come up with possible candidates.
While Cleveland might be content to wait some time for an answer, the Browns can’t be put on hold indefinitely. So it will be interesting to see if Holmgren’s situation there — and a leaked pronouncement that he’s been offered a job — will prod the Seahawks into action.

Seems like this one could go one of two ways. Either the Seahawks will grow tired of being publicly pushed into a quick decision on Holmgren and eliminate him from consideration, or decide they need to move quickly to secure their man.
Meanwhile, Holmgren must decide whether he’s wants to take the first job offered to him in Cleveland, or hold out on the Seahawks or other potential openings when the season concludes in January.

Unless it’s a money issue, I don’t know why the Seahawks wouldn’t act quickly to bring Holmgren back to Seattle as their general manager. The position is open with the departure of Tim Ruskell, so unless Seattle expects to land Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher, it’s perplexing why they wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to bring back Holmgren if he indeed wants the job.

That said, I don’t blame them for not wanting to make a snap decision. But if Holmgren does go elsewhere, the Seahawks better land a capable GM, because Jim Mora isn’t a miracle worker. He’s not the type of head coach that gets the most out of his players; he needs talent in order to succeed or else he’s an average NFL coach at best.

Kudos to the Browns for being aggressive by offering Holmgren a contract. They realize they have a problem at the top and need someone with credibility to come in and rebuild the organization from the ground up. It’ll be interesting to see if they land Holmgren.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Report: Browns met with Mike Holmgren

According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, the Browns held a meeting with former Seahawks and Packers coach Mike Holmgren on Monday. The meeting was to gauge Holmgren’s interest in becoming a football “czar” for the Browns next season.

It’s not known if Holmgren would accept a job immediately; he’s a thoughtful guy who probably would want to think things through. But team owner Randy Lerner is working hard to convince Holmgren the Browns would be right for him.

As for Mangini’s future, many rumors and reports have trickled out of Berea that the win over Pittsburgh guarantees that Mangini will be back in 2010.

What the win did was make the Browns 2-11, and Randy Lerner has to be aware of that reality.

Lerner, though, will not force his will on the new football leader. The team’s owner will have input into the coach, but he will not force a decision on someone he hires to run his football operations.

Holmgren would absolutely be a great fit for Cleveland. He would bring credibility to the job and a proven track record, which are two things that are incredibly valuable to an organization like the Browns.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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