CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns have a new general manager, and they don’t any need time to get to know him.
Andrew Berry was named Cleveland’s GM and executive vice president on Tuesday, returning to the team after a one-year stint in the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office. Berry was the Browns’ vice president of player personnel from 2016-18, when the team went 1-31 over two seasons and was mired in dysfunction.
But owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam believe in Berry and will now align him with new coach Kevin Stefanski, the former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator hired earlier this month. Berry will be re-introduced at a press conference on Feb. 5 at the team’s facility in Berea.
The 32-year-old Berry is the NFL’s youngest GM and the second African American in that position. He joins Miami’s Chris Grier as the only minority GMs in a league that has been widely condemned for its hiring practices.
Berry is also the fifth head of football operations hired by the Haslams, who have shown little patience with coaches or decision-makers since they bought the franchise in 2012.
Berry joined the Browns in 2016 after seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. In Cleveland, he was part of the regime under Sashi Brown that tore down the Browns’ roster by making numerous trades in order to acquire future draft picks as assets. But the organization still struggled to choose the right players.
The Browns have only two players remaining from their 2016 draft class, and linebacker Joe Schobert and wide receiver Rashard Higgins are both eligible to be free agents in March.
Berry returns to a different Browns team from when he left last year to join the Eagles. Cleveland’s roster has been stockpiled with young talent, most notably wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landy, quarterback Baker Mayfield and defensive end Myles Garrett. But the team didn’t mesh last season and finished 6-10 after initially being labeled a playoff contender.
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