Browns special adviser and Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown appeared as a guest on Inside the NFL on Showtime. The episode, which will air at 9 tonight, features Brown ripping ex-Browns President Mike Holmgren, who removed him as Randy Lerner’s executive adviser in 2010, and calling the Trent Richardson trade “a brilliant move.”
Below are excerpts from the interview with Brown.
On Mike Holmgren: “Mike Holmgren … Well, Mike is not from Cleveland. I’m a Cleveland Brown. So he gave me a choice of taking three dollars and doing a little dancing for him out there. I said, ‘Mr. Holmgren, I’m sorry … I don’t dance … become a mascot type of guy. … And I cracked up but I wrote him a letter. And I stated those things, and I had a little humor with it because I knew ultimately I would probably be back because Cleveland is my home. I have great roots there and I love the people and the people love me.”
Clarification on the Mike Holmgren situation: “They were going to clean house. And he had all his boys that were going to come in and take advantage of the kind of money that he could pay his guys and never really be there. He took advantage of Randy (Lerner) and it was just a shame. Randy’s a good guy. Young owner. Wanted someone to take the pressure off of him. Mike came in, saw the weakness and took advantage of it.”
On the Trent Richardson trade: “Well, I was surprised. But then I thought it was a brilliant move. … Because first of all, Trent (Richardson) couldn’t have carried the kind of load that Cleveland needed. But with Andrew Luck, Andrew won’t need as much. And the two of them can really do a lot for their team. And Cleveland with their draft choices, I think they were going to look at a quarterback. But now with the youngster playing the way he played last week, it might change a little bit. But I think with the first draft choices they can get in some really good players. And they have a young team and of course we had a great victory utilizing the kind of imagination that made the trade. That imagination is exciting because Cleveland is really popping right now. … I called Trent Richardson because he’s a friend of mine. As you say, when a player leaves, it can leave a bad smell in the locker room. But the great thing is that Jim Haslam also called him (Richardson) and Jim is the owner of the Browns, so there’s a touch of class in that organization. They make the moves. They’re going to make the bold moves. … You’re never going to be able to rest because Joe Banner is going to like to deal. He dealt in Philadelphia.”
On what the NFLPA should do for the players: “Two things: health care forever. The owners had it on the table. The union refused it to get ready money. So they could give it to their crony consultants. The second thing is a dignified pension plan. We have the worst pension plan of any major corporation in America. So if you take your body of players and you’re going to do something for them, health care forever and a dignified pension plan.”