Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage is having himself quite a week, and his profane email outburst may be the least of his worries. If coach Romeo Crennel is shown the door after this season, there’s a good chance Savage will follow him if Crennel’s replacement is who it’s rumored to be:
Bill Cowher has been sitting around laughing at bad jokes for two years now in the “NFL Today” studio, which means it’s probably just about time to cut loose from Marino and Esiason and get back on the field, even if it is for the Browns, the hated rival of his former Steelers. I’m sure the people in Pittsburgh would take this very well.
PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio says Cowher is being courted by the Browns, and they’re willing to offer him $8-9 million per year to put up with Brady Quinn, Kellen Winslow, and a variety of staph infections.
As for Savage, this talk would make his days numbered:
Presumably, Cowher’s arrival would occur only if G.M. Phil Savage were fired or significantly marginalized. (Maybe Savage can go work for the Bills — or if all else fails he can root for them.) Cowher would want final say over personnel, and Cowher would want to install one or more of his former Steelers colleagues into key positions.
Likely candidates, if they can finagle a path out of Pittsburgh, would be director of football operations Kevin Colbert and/or director of business operations Omar Khan.
In another article, Florio claims that Savage’s blowup this week was a bit out character, considering he’s a devout Christian who’s even made other NFL types uncomfortable with his religious fervor. Savage even said this at one point:
“We want Christian players who can play football well,” Savage said in 2006. (And that might have been news to owner Randy Lerner, who is Jewish.)
If Cowher does take the new Browns job, he would likely become the NFL’s highest-paid coach. Mike Holmgren currently holds that mark at $8 million per season, but he’s in the final year of his deal.