For the last 20 years, Paul DePodesta has been known as one of the brightest minds in baseball. The Cleveland Browns are hoping that will translate to football.
In yet another odd move, the Browns announced that they have hired the former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager as the team’s Chief Strategy Officer. DePodesta will report directly to owner Jimmy Haslam, who fired coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer after the Browns went 3-13.
DePodesta will be returning to Cleveland, where he spent three years working as an advance scout and assistant general manager for the Indians. In 1999, he moved to the Oakland A’s to work with Billy Beane – the era immortalized in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball.
He only lasted 18 months as the Dodgers’ general manager, and later worked in the front offices of the San Diego Padres and New York Mets. His only football experience is an unpaid internship with the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League.
The Browns already promoted general counsel Sashi Brown to executive vice president of football operations, where Haslem said he will have “ultimate control” over the 53-man roster. While Brown had previously worked on the salary cap and contract negotiations, this will be his first time making personnel decisions.