Browns GM rumors: Joe Banner says team has frontrunner

USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland is almost done with its first round of interviews for a new general manager, leaving the team with a man they feel can handle the job.

The Cleveland Browns are close to naming a new general manager. Problem is, they won't tell anybody who that man might be, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Joe Banner, Cleveland's CEO, has said that the team has a frontrunner out of the candidates, but he won't disclose any further information until the time is right. Per the article:

"We're in the middle of the interviews that we've scheduled," Banner said at the FirstEnergy Stadium naming rights press conference. "We're trying to finish them as quickly as we can. At that point, we may evaluate whether we want to add any additional interviews or select from the group we've met. Hopefully we'll move forward quickly."

Many NFL people believe that Ray Farmer, the Kansas City Chiefs director of pro personnel is the man with whom Banner is smitten, but it's not certain.

Farmer started out in pro football as a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring in 1998. From there, Farmer worked his way up the front office chain, eventually landing his current job with the Chiefs in 2006 when Herm Edwards was the head coach.

Another name being floated is Mike Lombardi, a current NFL Network analyst and longtime NFL personnel man with the Oakland Raiders under Al Davis.

Lombardi worked with Banner in Philadelphia, something that could play in his favor. Lombardi also came to be known in the league while working with the Browns in a variety of front office ways from 1987 to 1996.

However, as pointed out on cleveland.com by Terry Pluto, the hiring of Lombardi would be a public relations disaster. Many Browns fans feel Lombardi is out of touch and wasn't even good back when he was plugged into the NFL.

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