Browns owner Randy Lerner has begun talks with truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam on giving up controlling interest while committing to keep the team in Cleveland, the club president said Friday.
And get this: Haslam is a self-described ‘‘1,000 percent’’ Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
‘‘[Lerner] is giving up controlling interest in the team,’’ president Mike Holmgren said at the team’s suburban Berea training camp. Holmgren said he and Lerner have discussed the matter throughout the summer.
Holmgren said the talks on the future of the team included the agreed stipulation that the Browns would remain in town. ‘‘The Cleveland Browns are not going anywhere,’’ he said.
The Browns have been owned by the Lerner family since 1999, when the franchise was reborn after the original club moved to Baltimore.
Haslam is president and CEO of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in the United States.
Ryan back at itThis is the team Rex Ryan wants, and he can’t think of anyone better to coach it than Rex Ryan.
With Mark Sanchez at quarterback, Tim Tebow in various roles, and Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator, Ryan has a high comfort level with the 2012 version of the Jets.
‘‘I have a blueprint for our team,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘I have everything in place right now, no question.’’
That includes his self-confidence, manifested when he told dozens of reporters after the workout that ‘‘I look at myself as the best defensive coordinator in football, that’s the way I’ve always believed. That’s saying something because [Pittsburgh’s] Dick LeBeau is pretty darn good. [New England’s] Bill Belichick is pretty good. But that’s the way I’ve always believed.’’
Steelers ink BrownThe Steelers signed wide receiver Antonio Brown to a five-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2017 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Brown was second on the team last season with 69 receptions for 1,108 yards . . . Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said that he’s 95 percent sure the upcoming season will be his last in the NFL. Last November, Gonzalez became the NFL’s No. 2 receiver with 1,149 catches . . . Receiver Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City’s leader in receptions and receiving yards the past three years, was not on the field as training camp opened. Bowe was given the franchise tag when he refused to sign the his tender . . . The Vikings placed running back Adrian Peterson on the active physically unable to perform list to start camp. The move was expected, considering his comeback from reconstructive surgery on his left knee . . . Brian Banks, who was cleared of a rape conviction in May after serving five years in jail, participated in workouts with Seattle but did not get a contract offer.
Lions running back Jahvid Best was put on the active physically unable to perform list. Best didn’t play last season after a concussion . . . Seven months after his latest concussion, Jaguars linebacker Clint Session remains on the sideline. The team had hoped he would be ready for camp . . . Former Falcons safety Ray Easterling had a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated concussions, an autopsy report concluded. Easterling died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April. He was 62 . . . In a lawsuit, Cardinals defensive end Ronald Talley was accused of smashing a bottle on the head of a man at a suburban Detroit bar March 26.