The Browns are turning to a young but familiar face to help turn around their fortunes.
Former Cleveland executive Andrew Berry will return after a year with the Eagles to be its general manager and executive VP, the team announced on Tuesday.
He has 53-man roster control and at 32 is the youngest GM in the NFL. "I'm honored and blessed to lead the Football Operations of the Cleveland Browns," Berry said in a statement per the Browns' official website. "I'm appreciative of the Haslam family for entrusting me to be a steward of a franchise that is so rich in tradition and history. The passion for football courses through the veins of Northeast Ohio in a manner that is unique to that of any other region. Our fan base's devotion to the Browns is the catalyst for such affection for the sport. Rewarding you all -- our loyal and faithful Dawg Pound -- will energize and motivate me daily to attack the challenge ahead of us. It is for that reason that I am excited to partner with Kevin Stefanski -- a coach I know our city will embrace because of his leadership skills, work ethic, humility, and character -- to work tirelessly and with immediate urgency toward building a winning organization that will make the people of Cleveland proud."
The organization has stressed the need for unity between its head coach and general manager, both of which have been revolving doors since the franchise rebooted in 1999. Chemistry might already exist among certain parts of the front office. "I was introduced to Andrew about 10 years ago at the Senior Bowl by Leslie Frazier so I've known him for quite some time," Coach Kevin Stefanski said per the team site. "I've always respected him for the way he's carried himself in this profession. Andrew is extremely knowledgeable and is always looking to improve himself. We share a vision on the type of team we need to build to have the success our fans deserve. I'm excited and very much looking forward to getting to work with Andrew and developing the type of partnership needed for sustained success."
Berry was the Browns' vice president of player personnel from 2016 to 2018, which means he worked alongside current chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta. The latter's voice has grown even stronger from when Berry was initially in Cleveland. That it took the club more than 10 days between this hire and Kevin Stefanski's speaks to the new head coach having a voice in the process as well.
The 32-year-old Berry was the Eagles' vice president of football operations in 2019, involving himself in everything from scouting to contracts to strategy. Previously in Cleveland, Berry ran day-to-day scouting -- pro and college. He was in high demand this offseason. The Eagles denied the Panthers' request to interview Berry for executive VP, Rapoport previously reported. They could not deny the Browns because they were considering him for their GM vacancy. Now the position has been filled.