BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns new owner, Jimmy Haslam III, was formally introduced on Friday and he made the team’s main objective known from the start.
“We have one mission and one mission only and that’s to bring winning back to Cleveland,” Haslam said.
Standing the entire time, Haslam spoke for 27 minutes to a packed house at the Dino Lucarell media center inside the Browns complex
“At the end of the day the most important thing we can do is win football games,” said Haslam.
Haslem did not address any potential personnel and front office moves within the organization and said he would not comment until he assumes full control of the team.
“Randy still owns the team,” Haslam said.
The sale is expected to be approved by the NFL and its owners at the NFL owners meeting in October.
A source with knowledge of the negotiations between Lerner and Haslam told Fox 8 News that the deal will be “rubber stamped” by the league since it was the league who brought the two sides together. Haslam said on Friday that before July 2, he and Randy Lerner had never met.
According to Haslam, Lerner told him that as the now former owner he would be willing to, “Do as much or as little,” as Haslam saw fit with the day-to-day football operations moving forward.
Haslam later said that the contractual sale of the team was the fastest in league history.
“Roger Goodell [NFL Commissioner] said he has never seen a negotiation for the sale of a team happen so quickly,” said Haslam.
The first phone call Haslam took after the sale was finalized was from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who like Lerner, said he’d be willing to pass along much knowledge of football operations.
“I’ve had several NFL owners tell me that you will not believe the highs and lows,” said Haslam III
As for where Haslam will operate the team from, “We will split our time between Knoxville and Cleveland,” Haslam said.
For continuing coverage of the Browns sale click here.