Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns want to interview Tom Gamble

After firing GM Tom Heckert on Black Monday, the Cleveland Browns are looking for a new GM to take his place and improve the team with a new head coach helping the cause. Owner Jimmy Haslam made a confusing comment when he stated that the Browns would be looking for a head coach before a GM, which is the opposite of what conventional wisdom states. In the head coaching search, the Browns lead candidate is clearly Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly, who stated after the Ducks huge Fiesta Bowl victory over the Kansas State Wildcats that he is open to leaving for the NFL. Kelly also wants almost total operational control, which is a tough sell for not only him but also for the Browns in trying to add a GM.

San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble is one of the hottest names on the market, and he might be “the” biggest name out there up for a GM promotion. According to NFL Network insider Albert Breer, the Browns have asked the 49ers permission to interview Gamble for their vacant GM position.

Gamble is already a top target for the New York Jets (Gamble is a New Yorker), the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the San Diego Chargers.

Now the important thing here is that it gets the rumors wheels churning. I mean, if Haslam wants a coach first but now he wants to interview a GM, does that mean the Browns have already added Chip Kelly? Does that mean Gamble actually wants to be the GM of a team with Kelly making significant personnel decisions as a coach? Because Gamble could probably land with San Diego in a more attractive situation for a GM with a team that likely won’t be giving the new head coach nearly as much personnel power.

Steve Keim, David Caldwell, Jason Licht, John Idzik, Ray Farmer, and Michael Lombardi are also possible GM hires for the Cleveland Browns.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Chip Kelly Cleveland Browns David Caldwell Jason Licht John Idzik Michael Lombardi Ray Farmer Steve Keim Tom Gamble

  • Tim Tolley

    While I don’t love the Browns approach, their logic is sound. When asked if hiring a head coach first and giving him power would limit the candidates at GM, Joe Banner replied “yes, but hiring the GM first would limit the candidates at head coach.”

    A traditional GM would rule out guys like Chip Kelly at head coach. Now, if they hire a bum assistant, it won’t look nearly as good as they hope…

    • Joe Soriano

      Thanks for commenting Tim, always good to see a familiar face (by the way, how have you been?). Anyway, that logic is interesting, and thanks for bringing that up because I A) Didn’t know that and B) Never thought of it that way.

      I think that logic points to their desire to hire Chip Kelly, and the interesting thing is that the Browns position is sort of like the Jets at this moment in time. At neither stop will the incoming GM be able to control the head coach, nor will they have as much power as they might like.

      Which GM candidate are you most interested in, Tim?

      • Tim Tolley

        I’ve been well. Or good. Both.
        As far as GMs, it’s difficult to get behind a guy, not really knowing what his role will be. The name Mike Lombardi gets thrown around a lot here. The guy who drafted JeMarcus Russell scares the hell out of me, but it’s hard to say how much say he had in the war room with Al Davis. I was a fan of Heckert, to be honest. That wasn’t going to work because he had “too much power.” It’s interesting to see how this is playing out. Looks like the Browns have swung and missed on their top 4 options: Saban, Kelly, O’Brien, Marrone. Same old Browns?….

        • Joe Soriano

          Lombardi is also an analyst for the NFL Network, and I honestly think he is subpar. He stated earlier this season that Russell Wilson would not succeed due to his height and was pretty adamant about that. The main problem with him is that he’s terrible at evaluating and working with QBs.