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AP Source: Browns agree to bring back Andrew Berry as new GM

Mon Jan 27 1:04pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

Jimmy, left, and Dee Haslam owners of the NFL Cleveland Browns stands with new head coach Kevin Stefanski after a news conference at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Phil Long)


Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski announces the 2019 professional athlete of the year during the 2020 Greater Cleveland Sports Awards in Cleveland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Stefanski could be reuniting with an old friend in Cleveland. The team is interviewing Vikings assistant general manager George Paton for the second time to be their new GM, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press on Wednesday. (Joshua Gunter/Cleveland.com via AP)


CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Browns have reached agreement to hire Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry as their new general manager and executive vice president, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Monday.

Berry, who worked in Cleveland's front office from 2016-18, will get a five-year deal, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made the hiring official.

Berry will be just the second black GM currently working in the NFL. Miami's Chris Grier had been the league's only minority GM.

The 32-year-old re-emerged as the favorite Friday, when Vikings assistant general manager George Paton removed his name from consideration. Paton spent 13 seasons working with new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, and it appeared they might be reuniting in Cleveland.

Paton had gotten a second interview with the Browns.

Berry didn't need one as the team was very familiar with him from his previous stint in Cleveland. He's the sixth GM hired by owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam since 2012.

The Browns have spent the past two weeks looking for a GM to replace John Dorsey, who resigned on Dec. 31 after two years with the team. Dorsey rebuilt Cleveland's roster during his tenure, but he fell from favor when he recommended Freddie Kitchens to be hired as coach a year ago and was asked to accept a reduced role after a 6-10 season.

During Berry's first stay in Cleveland, the Browns were brutally bad. They went 8-39-1 while he served as the team's vice president of player personnel. That run included a 1-15 record in 2016 and 0-16 in 2017. Clearly, it wasn't all Berry's fault, but he's tied to that dreadful span, something Browns fans haven't forgotten and why many of them will reluctantly welcome his return.

The Browns interviewed Berry at their headquarters on Jan, 17, when they also met with New England director of scouting Monti Ossenfort.

Berry had been with Philadelphia since last February. He left the Browns after Dorsey brought in assistant GM Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith after working with them in Green Bay.

Player Notes
Kareem Hunt Jan 27 3:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt, who will be a free agent in March, emotionally admitted that he would fail a drug test to a police officer during a traffic stop recently. This was caught on video of the police officer's dash cam during the traffic stop. Hunt also admitted that the small amounts of marijuana found in the car were his, but the officer let Hunt off with just the speeding ticket. It remains to be seen if the NFL will consider a suspension for the 24-year-old from this incident. Hunt was released by the Chiefs during the 2018 season due to a domestic-violence incident, and he served a suspension before making his Browns debut in 2019. If he signs with another team this offseason and is given bell-cow duties in the backfield, Hunt could have RB1 upside.

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Philip Rivers Jan 27 3:00pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers have "moved on from Philip Rivers," according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. Rivers is set to become a free agent in March, and the writing was on the wall when he recently moved his entire family from San Diego to Florida. Rivers will end a 16-year run with the Chargers, but it remains to be seen where he'll land on the free-agent market this offseason. The Buccaneers are a popular expected destination, but that'll only be if they move on from Jameis Winston. Rivers completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2019 for a QB rating of 88.5. He might have a few more seasons left in him, but at 38 years old his arm strength is clearly deteriorating, and he'll probably be more of a QB2 in 2020, depending on where he winds up.

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Frank Clark Jan 27 12:30pm ET

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Fletcher Cox Jan 26 6:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox was credited with a 61-yard interception return for touchdown at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Jack Doyle Jan 26 6:33pm ET

Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle posted three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on four targets for the AFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

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T.J. Watt Jan 26 6:33pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers DE T.J. Watt posted an 82-yard fumble return for touchdown in the fourth quarter for the AFC at the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Mark Andrews Jan 26 6:23pm ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews ended up with a game-high nine receptions for an AFC-best 73 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

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D.J. Chark Jan 26 6:23pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. registered two grabs for 67 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown in the third quarter, for the AFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Davante Adams Jan 26 6:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams ended up with a team-high six receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Amari Cooper Jan 26 6:13pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper finished with three grabs for 24 yards and a touchdown on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Kirk Cousins Jan 26 6:03pm ET

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 13-of-22 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26

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Michael Thomas Jan 26 6:03pm ET

New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas hauled in five receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown with a team-high eight targets at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Calais Campbell Jan 26 5:53pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Calais Campbell had a solo tackle, a sack and a quarterback hit in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26, winning the Defensive Most Valuable Player award.

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Lamar Jackson Jan 26 5:53pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson completed 16-of-23 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, winning Offensive Most Valuable Player. He also ran twice for six yards in the 38-33 win.

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Darren Fells Jan 26 2:13pm ET

Houston Texans impending free-agent TE Darren Fells is a player the Texans will try to re-sign this offseason, but he probably will receive interest from multiple teams in free agency.

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A.J. McCarron Jan 26 2:13pm ET

Houston Texans impending free-agent QB AJ McCarron is a candidate to be re-signed this offseason, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Sarah Barshop.

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C.J. Mosley Jan 26 1:00pm ET

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin), who is six weeks removed from groin/abdominal surgery, said he is jogging "a little bit" and is on track to take part in "spring football." Mosley has also started a vegan diet after playing in just two games last season because of his injury in his first year in New York. The 27-year-old should be ready for a full training camp heading into the 2020 season, and he should give Gang Green a steadying presence in the middle of the field next season. Mosley recorded 100-plus tackles in four of his five seasons in Baltimore before signing with the Jets in free agency last offseason.

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Eric Berry Jan 26 1:00pm ET

Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who did not play at all in 2019, plans to play in 2020 after intentionally taking the season off to rest his body and mind. Berry was cut by the Chiefs in 2018 and has only played in three games since 2016 due to injuries and a bout with cancer. The former first-round pick in 2010 has 14 career interceptions and five touchdowns and could provide a team with a veteran presence in the secondary in 2020. However, it remains to be seen if any team will take a chance on the veteran moving forward. Berry is unlikely to be an asset in IDP leagues if he gets picked up by a team.

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Drew Brees Jan 26 12:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who will become a free agent in March, said he is still waiting to decide if he will play a 20th season in the NFL. "Then, I'll kind of lay low for a little bit, get away and then assess. I kind of have a process in mind. And I'll give it a month or so," Brees said. If the 41-year-old does decide to return, it'll be for the Saints. General manager Mickey Loomis also said that the team would welcome him back if he decides to keep playing. Brees' arm strength is starting to deteriorate, but he still put up great numbers when he came back from a fractured thumb last season, and he should remain in play as a QB1 if he returns for the 2020 season.

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Will Fuller Jan 26 12:50pm ET

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