Tuesday’s move by the Cleveland Browns to relieve Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi of their posts sent shockwaves through the NFL. There’s little doubt the dysfunction within the Browns’ organization is some of the most robust in the league, but where do the Browns rank among the other dysfunctional franchises in the league? Let’s take a look.
Dishonorable Mentions: Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars
Both the Titans and Jags have had serious problems in the recent past, but they’re doing the right things to get back on track.
10) Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings’ biggest transgression has been an inability to put the right people in the right positions. Since Brett Favre crashed the show in 2010, nothing has gone right for Minnesota aside from the anomaly of the 2012 season. With the right people, the Vikings may be able to get back on track like the Titans and Jags seem to be.
9) Detroit Lions
The Lions are better now than they were five years ago. Aside from that mediocre compliment, what can we say about the Lions? The roster lacks discipline and an ability to close games out. They’re, in short, the new Houston Texans, a team that squanders their own talent.
8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s tough putting the Buccaneers on this list, but Lovie Smith being hired as the team’s head coach doesn’t fix the team’s inability to find quality players. Really, there’s no doubt they have a good coach, but now all the pressure of success now falls on the personnel department. Jason Licht is unproven in his capacity as GM, and it’s unclear just how patient ownership will be with the new regime.
7) Buffalo Bills
The Bills may be the most boring franchise in the league. Doug Marrone has a lot of work to do to get his team headed towards the playoffs in a division that will almost certainly be won by the Patriots again in 2014. E.J. Manuel was just okay, but he didn’t exactly strike us as a franchise passer last year. Without a quarterback, the Bills still have work to do.
6) New York Jets
The Jets have a heavy-handed owner and a general manager that inherited current head coach Rex Ryan. Ryan was able to survive 2013 with a big endorsement from Woody Johnson. Missing the playoffs probably won’t save Ryan’s job this time around, and the love affair between Johnson and Ryan may have to come to an end.
5) Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have the incredible ability to stay in their own way 100% of the time. Right now, the Raiders have no identity as a team, and they seem prepped for another reset following next season. The good news is the Raiders have improved since Mark Davis took over as the team’s owner.
4) Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are best described as a backwards franchise. Head coach Joe Philbin has more power than general manager Dennis Hickey, and both men report directly to owner Stephen Ross. It’s a strange setup that is likely to end in disaster. The Dolphins’ current regime resembles the top-heavy system the Browns used last season.
3) Dallas Cowboys
Let me give you a scenario. A team is operating with a general manager that cannot be fired, but he’s providing his head coach with mediocre talent at best. Guess what happens when this team fails to produce acceptable results on the field. That model is currently used by the Dallas Cowboys where owner Jerry Jones is also the GM. If Jones gave his coaches good players, it would work just fine, but that’s not the case.
2) Washington Redskins
Daniel Snyder has been called the worst owner in sports, and that comes as little surprise to anyone that follows the Redskins. He’s far too involved for his own good, and he’s ran some of his better coaches out of town. The Redskins need a head coach that can control a team, and they need their owner to stay out of the way.
1) Cleveland Browns
The factory of sadness is still working at maximum production. The roster is nearly devoid of all talent, and owner Jimmy Haslam changes the team’s direction a few times per year. That’s a sure fire recipe for disaster, and there’s little hope for the Browns moving forward. It should come as no surprise that the Browns rank as the most dysfunctional team in the league.