Are the Browns clearing a path for John Fox?

There are several intriguing rumors floating around the NFL blogosphere about John Fox’s future. And one of those rumors has the current Carolina front man heading to Cleveland next year in order to reunite with quarterback Jake Delhomme, whom the Browns recently signed to a two-year deal.

There are several interesting connections between Fox and the Browns, which were all highlighted by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

“Think about this: Panthers coach John Fox is a huge Delhomme supporter. Browns general manager Tom Heckert is an equally big supporter of Fox. Fox’s contract is up after this season. Agent Bob Lamonte represents Heckert, Fox and Browns president Mike Holmgren. Cleveland gave Delhomme a two-year deal, long enough to carry him over until the time when Fox will become free. I’m not saying, I’m just saying …”

It’s not a crazy notion. Holmgren is already in the process of tearing down the Browns’ roster and rebuilding it from scratch. Just based on some of the moves that Holmgren has made, if I were Mangini I wouldn’t get the walls in my office re-painted quite yet, because there’s a good chance he’ll be gone in 2011. Whether or not Fox replaces him is another question, but as Schefter points out – it’s certainly a possibility.

Considering the success Fox has had in Carolina, this news should have a lot of Browns fans excited. Tempered, but it excited. Personally, I think he’s a little overrated myself (the Panthers have been the model of inconsistency under him during his tenure and they never shy away from failing to live up to expectations), but he’s a better football coach than Mangini is. Fox gets the most out of his players on Sundays and he relates well to them, which is why they always play hard for him. I know this would be a ways down the road, but if Holmgren were to hire Fox, he’d be giving Cleveland the competent coach the team has needed for years.

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