Browns’ owner returning to CEO role at Flying J

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has gone back to running the family business.


Haslam is returning to his role as CEO of Pilot Flying J, his Tennessee-based truck-stop empire, a move the Browns say will not affect his involvement with the rebuilding NFL franchise. Haslam, who bought the Browns for $1 billion from Randy Lerner in August, had stepped down from Pilot Flying J in September when he hired former PepsiCo president John Compton. Haslam wanted to devote his energy into fixing the Browns, who have made just one playoff appearance since 1999 and have undergone numerous coaching and front-office changes.


However, on Monday, Pilot Flying J announced that Haslam will “reassume” his role as the company’s CEO and Compton will take a new position as strategic adviser to Pilot Flying J, the Browns and Haslam family.


Haslam’s decision is partly based on him hiring former Eagles president Joe Banner as the Browns’ new CEO.


Last month, Haslam and Banner hired Mike Lombardi as vice president of player personnel.


Team spokesman Neal Gulkis said Haslam’s decision to go back to Pilot Flying J will have “no impact on the operations of the Browns nor will it affect Jimmy’s involvement with the team.”


Bills make cuts: The Bills new coach, Doug Marrone, began retooling his underperforming defense by releasing two veterans: linebacker Nick Barnett and strong safety George Wilson.


The two players were among the Bills’ most experienced defenders, and finished first and second on the team in tackles last season. And yet, they were also part of a high-priced defense that finished among the NFL’s worst in yards and points allowed.


“Moves like the ones we’ve made are never easy, but we have to do what’s best for our team and keep moving forward,” general manager Buddy Nix said in a statement released by the team.


Vick signs with Eagles: Quarterback Michael Vick, who was slated to earn $16 million next season, has agreed to a restructured deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.


Vick, who was injured and inconsistent last season, eventually giving way to rookie Nick Foles, now has a three-year contract, and will compete with Foles to see who runs new coach Chip Kelly’s offense this season.


Jets LB enters plea: A New York Jets linebacker has entered a pre-trial probation program that could help him get assault and drug charges dismissed.


Bryan Thomas appeared in state Superior Court in Morris County.


Thomas was arrested last fall and charged with assaulting his wife and possessing drug paraphernalia and painkillers.


Chargers team doctor under scrutiny: NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith says the union is still concerned about San Diego Chargers team doctor David Chao even though he reportedly has been cleared by an independent panel.


In a statement to the Associated Press, Smith says neither the Chargers nor the NFL initiated an inquiry or provided oversight of Chao even though he has been found liable of malpractice.


At a pre-Super Bowl news conference, Smith called for Chao to be replaced as team doctor. The NFLPA filed a complaint.


Quoting a club source it did not identify, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday that three independent doctors “totally exonerated” Chao.


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