Investigation: Did The Browns Actually Lose Games on Purpose?

There’s not much these days that I hear and don’t think can’t end up being true. However, a Cleveland Browns team actually trying to lose games on purpose is insane. News recently broke out that the NFL was investigating the teams from the past due to former head coach Hue Jackson’s claims that he was paid to lose games.

This via The Guardian: 

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the league engaged former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White to look into Jackson’s allegations. “The review is ongoing and is expected to conclude soon,” McCarthy said in an email.

The team released a statement on Monday night, saying it has worked with the league on its inquiry.

“Even though Hue recanted his allegations a short time after they were made, it was important to us and to the integrity of the game to have an independent review of the allegations,” team spokesman Peter Jean-Baptiste said. “We welcomed an investigation and we are confident the results will show, as we’ve previously stated, that these allegations are categorically false. We have cooperated with Mary Jo White and look forward to the findings.”

Let’s get down to why this even began…

Jackson told ESPN’s SportsCenter that the Browns had a “four-year plan” that incentivized losing during the first two years; bonus money was available if certain measurables were met such as aggregate rankings, being the youngest team and having so many draft picks. He said that plan led to his 1-31 record during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which gave Cleveland the No. 1 overall draft pick in back-to-back years.

Maybe you just completely sucked as a coach and were so embarrassed by how bad the Browns teams were led by yourself as the man in charge? After all, the team went 1-31 under your leadership. Yes, Browns fans went through a 1-31 stretch and have survived, thank you.

Tanking is certainly an issue in all professional sports as receiving the top pick allows for a team to select the best player available. The way to get the top pick is by having the worst record in the previous season. There is some nuance to that but it primarily gives a losing team the best chance.

I simply cannot see owner Jimmy Haslam saying, “Yo Hue lose these upcoming games so we get the first pick. We’ll even pay you to do it!” Now, is there that idea in everyone’s head that if the team does end up with the worst record it will lead to the top pick?

Well, of course. That’s the root of tanking…

What if…and this is a crazy concept. The Browns build a team that ends up being so good it contends for a Super Bowl instead of the number one over pick. They’re certainly heading in the right direction these days and that’s great to see. Even so, this is embarrassing that it’s even news. I thought we were past this garbage.

Hue, shut up. Go coach some college team and leave the Browns alone. Hopefully, this investigation will be over soon and we can all return to loving our Browns and looking forward to…

 Deshaun Watson, Denzel Ward and the Future! 

 

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