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Legends program suspended for '09

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 17, 2009

The Browns are suspending their Legends program for 2009 while the organization examines the selection process and future qualifications for inclusion.

Forty-four players and one coach, Paul Brown, have been chosen for the Legends since the program began in 2001. Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were automatically inducted, along with one player from four eras (1940s-50s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s-90s) every season.

Eric Metcalf, Walter Johnson, Paul Wiggin and Warren Lahr were selected last year. In the past, a panel of journalists and team historians determined the nominees. Voting was conducted by the panel and by fans online, the latter accounting for 20 percent.

''We want to take a look at the program and develop a plan for future inductees,'' Bill Bonsiewicz, vice president of communications, said in an email. ''So the organization decided to take this season to make sure as we move forward it is respectful for those already in and for those who will join them. We've already begun the process by finding similar accomplishments of those inducted, like years of service with the Browns, records set, rankings, Pro Bowls and All-Pros.''

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