Mike Holmgren

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holmgren agrees to join Browns

The Cleveland Browns have reached an agreement to hire Mike Holmgren, the former coach of the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, to oversee their football operations, the team announced Monday.

"We will spend the rest of the week finalizing the details of the agreement and will make a formal announcement next week, at which time we will make him available to the media," owner Randy Lerner wrote in a statement released by the club.

Holmgren, who was given the title of team president, spoke to Lerner about the job last week. Lerner fired George Kokinis as the team's general manager in November.

Holmgren has been out of the league this season after stepping down as the Seahawks' coach after last season.

He reportedly also spoke to the Seahawks about a job in their front office but the two sides were unable to complete a deal. . . .

Meanwhile, the Browns' former GM, Kokinis, is seeking more than $4 million in compensation and damages from the team in an arbitration case filed with the league, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

When firing Kokinis, the Browns notified him that it was for cause and the remainder of his contract would not be honored.

"It's George's contention that a variety of promises were made to him about the authority he would have even outside of the contract because he was concerned about that issue," attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who is representing Kokinis, told the Plain Dealer. "It's one of the principal issues he raised before agreeing to move to Cleveland and leave the Ravens."

Owners' plan disputed

The NFL Players Association is challenging a plan by the league's franchise owners to halt their supplemental revenue-sharing next year if there's a season without a salary cap, officials said.

The players' union sent a letter to Stephen Burbank, the University of Pennsylvania law professor who serves as the NFL's special master, putting him in charge of resolving disputes between the owners and the players arising from their collective bargaining agreement.

The owners contend that the additional revenue- sharing was designed to allow some lower-revenue teams to meet their increased salary cap obligations to the players, which no longer would be needed in a season without a salary cap.

Bengals go to funeral

More than 100 members of the Cincinnati Bengals organization are expected to travel to New Orleans to attend Chris Henry's funeral on Tuesday.


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