2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Browns CEO says team not slowed by federal probe

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-24 11:12

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns CEO Joe Banner said the ongoing federal investigation into owner Jimmy Haslam's truck-stop business has not hindered daily operations of his NFL franchise.

In an interview on the eve of training camp, Banner attempted to ease concerns of Cleveland fans about Haslam's uncertain future.

Banner said he does not envision any development that would require Haslam to sell the team.

``I don't see that scenario,'' Banner said.

Haslam, who bought the Browns last year from Randy Lerner, recently reached a settlement with some customers of his Pilot Flying J company who were cheated out of rebate money. Haslam has professed his innocence since FBI and IRS agents raided the company's headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., on April 15. An affidavit released said Haslam had knowledge that some of his salesmen were overcharging customers.

Banner appreciates that Browns fans are worried, but said the team has not been impacted by the probe.

``I understand why that doesn't give everybody total peace of mind,'' he said. ``We're operating the team exactly as we would, whether this would have happened or not. Jimmy's here and incredibly supportive and a huge asset to us. He's made it clear and I've tried to make it clear without any ambiguity at all that he's not going to sell the team.

``But I understand why until that actually happens and this thing plays itself out it's a legitimate question for people to continue asking.''

Banner believes the league is satisfied the Browns are running smoothly.

``I think the league feels really good about the way things are going, but they have a wait-and-see attitude as well,'' Banner said. ``I think they feel very good about Jimmy, he's been very open and transparent with them. I think they feel confident in the way they see him leading and the team we've put together to operate things.''

Banner admitted the investigation was ``a surprise.'' However, he remains confident and supportive of Haslam, who has apologized for any embarrassment he brought to Cleveland and its fans.

``We've certainly talked about it privately,'' Banner said. ``He's been extremely open with me and felt it was appropriate I knew what was going on and reinforce the very same messages he said publicly. We certainly discussed it, but I know him. I have a lot of confidence in him. I wouldn't say I had to be reassured.''

Banner said Haslam has not been slowed in his drive to rebuild the Browns, who have had just two winning seasons since 1999.

``I think it's a challenging situation you don't want to go through,'' Banner said. ``But he's high energy, he's as intense, he's got as many questions as he usually does about what we're doing, why we're doing it and how we could do it better. The things we've needed him to with questions or sponsors or relationships or people we're trying to recruit to come here that we wanted him to reach out to he's done and done well.

``He's either in or he's not - and he's in.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

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The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

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The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

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The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

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Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

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The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

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