Browns sale to Haslam approved; Holmgren to leave

CHICAGO (AP) - Mike Holmgren won’t be finishing the job he went to do in Cleveland.

New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III said Tuesday that Holmgren was out as team president, although the Super Bowl-winning coach will remain with the franchise to help in the transition.

Haslam was introduced as the Browns‘ new boss after the 32 NFL owners unanimously approved his $1 billion purchase of the team from Randy Lerner. Moments later, Haslam announced that former Eagles President Joe Banner would become chief executive officer. The move takes effect Oct. 25 when the sale is concluded.

Haslam plans no other personnel changes before 2013, meaning the jobs of coach Pat Shurmur and his staff and general manager Tom Heckert appear safe for now.

“I told Pat on Saturday night that this was the only personnel move until the end of the season,” Haslam said, “But I am not at all saying we’ll make changes at the end of the season.”

The Browns were the last team to win a game this year, beating Cincinnati on Sunday after five losses. They are tied with Kansas City for the worst record in the league.

Later Tuesday, the NFL confirmed that Minnesota will host Pittsburgh in a second London game next year. The Vikings and Steelers will play at Wembley Stadium on Sept. 29, 2013, four weeks before Jacksonville hosts San Francisco at Wembley.

“This is a unique opportunity,” Vikings President Mark Wilf said. “It will give excellent and exceptional exposure for the team.”

The league also announced that Houston, San Francisco and South Florida will bid for the 2016 and `17 Super Bowls.

The 57-year-old Haslam, who built his fortune with Pilot Flying J truck stops, has been a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and is in the process of divesting that stock.

He said Holmgren and Banner will “work together until the end of the season to transition in a seamless fashion.”

“He has been and still is committed to doing everything he can to make the Cleveland Browns a winning football team,” Haslam said of Holmgren, whose Browns are 10-28 since he was hired by Lerner to run football operations in 2010.

Haslam spoke at length with Holmgren in the 2 1/2 months since he agreed to purchase the Browns. They met Sunday to work out the logistics of the transition.

Mike was brought into do a certain role and I don’t think he wanted a different role,” Haslam said.

Holmgren led the Green Bay Packers to the 1996 NFL championship and lost in the Super Bowl the next year to Denver. He left the Packers in 1999 to become coach and general manager in Seattle. Six years later, the Seahawks won the AFC title _ Holmgren had given up much of his personnel duties by then to concentrate on coaching _ and fell to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.

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