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Browns shake up front office

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Browns shake up front office
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The Cleveland Browns announced a stunning shake-up in their front office on Tuesday that includes the departure of CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi.

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Ray Farmer will take over as general manager and lead the team's football operations during free agency and the NFL Draft. Team president Alec Scheiner will remain in charge of business operations.

Banner will transition out of his role as CEO over the next two months, the team said. Lombardi is departing the organization.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam downplayed the notion that the franchise is in disarray and had trouble attracting candidates to Cleveland during its coaching search last month.

"I will just tell you that the people I talked to around the country do not think this isn't an outstanding opportunity here in Cleveland, whether it's to coach, play or work," Haslam said. "And I continue to hear that."

Farmer was pursued by the Miami Dolphins after the 2013 season for their general manager opening but elected to remain with the Browns.

Farmer, who signed a four-year contract, was asked about working with a head coach he didn't hire.

"I didn't have the hiring authority, but I definitely was well aware and communicated well with the search party that was out speaking (with candidates)," Farmer said. "I did my research on Mike Pettine. I have a really good relationship with Mike Pettine. I had a moment this morning to spend some one-on-one time (with Pettine), after the decision was made, to really kind of start to solidify that relationship. I'm excited about the opportunity; I think he is, as well; and I think we're going to work well together."

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