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Mike Pettine becomes 3rd Browns coach to get fired in 4 years

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The Cleveland Browns are making a head coaching change ... again.

David Maxwell/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns fired head coach Mike Pettine on Sunday. Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Pettine's firing, along with that of general manager Ray Farmer, in a letter to fans posted on the team's website. The move comes after a 3-13 season for the Browns, the eighth consecutive losing season for the franchise.

The Browns have lost at least 11 games in seven of the last eight years, although Pettine led the team on a 7-9 campaign in 2014, his first season with the team. After finishing ninth in the NFL in points allowed one season ago, the Browns finished No. 29 in scoring defense in 2015.

Pettine came to the Browns after four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the New York Jets under Rex Ryan and one year as the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. While the defensive decline proved costly for the Browns in 2015, the offense didn't help much either and finished No. 29 in points scored.

Among the problems on offense for the Browns was consistent drama revolving around Johnny Manziel and Pettine's handling of the young quarterback. Just after throwing for 372 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers, video surfaced of Manziel partying and Pettine dropped the second-year passer to third on the depth chart. After Josh McCown was injured against the Baltimore Ravens and Austin Davis came just short of leading the team to victory, Manziel was reinserted in the starting lineup amid criticisms that Pettine only benched him to "exert his presence" as head coach.

With Pettine out of the picture, Haslam is expected to pursue some of the top coaching candidates on the market. Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reports Haslam has already laid the groundwork to interview Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who's expected to be a hot commodity this offseason. Gase was able to coax a productive year out of the much-maligned Jay Cutler, who posted a career-best QB rating this season. In his two seasons working with Peyton Manning as offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, Gase called plays for an offense that led the league in points per game and total yards from 2013-2014.

In addition to Gase, Haslam is expected to target Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone as well. But perhaps the most intriguing rumored name on Haslam's list is Chip Kelly, who the Eagles dismissed last week after a turmoil-ridden campaign. Kelly went 26-21 in three seasons in Philadelphia and was awarded complete control over player personnel just last year.

Pettine is the Browns third head coach fired since Haslam bought the team in 2012. Pat Shurmur was let go after the 2012 season. Rob Chudzinski, the first head coach hired by Haslam's regime, was fired after just one season. This was Pettine's second season with the team. Maybe the next guy will last a little longer.