The nation's recession struck the Browns this week when 15 employees were laid off, 12 receiving the news Wednesday and three Tuesday.
Economic woes were given as the reason for the layoffs, which were not performance-related. One person was let go from each of the front office support staff departments, including the team's legal counsel, the director of youth development, the media information director, the events and special projects manager and a staff writer for the team's web site.
“It was a very challenging day for the Browns organization and it's important to acknowledge the contributions of those who are currently with the Browns as well as those that are leaving,'' president Mike Keenan said in a statement. ''We are not immune to the current economic climate and in order to ensure that our business operates in an honest, efficient and realistic manner, we were faced with extremely difficult decisions.''
The Browns are not the first NFL team to begin belt-tightening. The Washington Redskins let 20 go in early January. In December, the league eliminated about 150 of its staff of 1,100 at its office in New York, at NFL Films in New Jersey and at its television and Internet production facility in Los Angeles.