Alec Scheiner was formerly the general counsel and Senior Vice-President of the Dallas Cowboys accepted the position of Browns’ President. Scheiner will be tasked with building a new front office staff to bring the Cleveland Browns back to relevance once and for all…no small task. Scheiner has a great business and sports pedigree though. He graduated from Georgetown Law in 1997 and spent his formative years in law working at the firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering; no, not that Cutler. After cutting his teeth there, he was snatched up by the Dallas Cowboys after helping with the sale or move of several professional teams and with the luring of an NFL franchise to the Rose Bowl.
After taking the job in Dallas, he rose through the ranks to his previous position of Senior Vice-President and was heavily involved in the planning to build the new Cowboys Stadium. Scheiner has a sharp business acumen that he will bring with him to the Cleveland Browns, which could be just what they need. After years of bringing in football guys, and building through hopes and dreams, the Cleveland Browns now have a business lawyer to come in and take a more hard-nosed track of building this front office. His hands will be full, but it is a challenge he has been waiting for. Scheiner has reportedly been ready to leave the Cowboys for a couple years new so that he could seek to expand his role in another city, there isn’t much room for promotions in Dallas after all.
CEO Joe Banner, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, and owner Jimmy Haslam have made their first move to put a stamp on this Cleveland franchise. The question is, where will this lead them. It seems it may take time before Cleveland sees a Browns team in Haslam’s image, they have told current GM Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur that they will be evaluated at season’s end. If either of them stay on, it will be to stay with their fateful 29 year old rookie QB, Brandon Weeden. Haslam, Banner, and now Scheiner realize what they have in a rookie who is nearly 30, and they may not be willing to hinge another GM’s career on that player. It may take a few seasons, or it may be wholesale changes this spring, but Cleveland will look very different in a few years.
The Browns may not have a traditional GM at all it seems. Scheiner comes from a very unique organization in the Dallas Cowboys, where the owner was also the GM and certainly held many other hats. Scheiner seems looking to create a front office that doesn’t include a one man decision maker in a GM, but a personnel executive with less power seems to be the route to go. Someone will have the final say, and someone will have the power of a GM, with or without the title, but who that is, remains a mystery.
The Browns could have had one of the bigger shake-ups of the off-season, but they have taken care of many of their empty seats prior to the end of the season. For those Cleveland fans out there, don’t forget that the moves have been made, even if they aren’t flashy. The move that isn’t as flashy seems to be the one that works the best lately anyway.