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Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Haslam to meet, discuss Browns sale

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Jimmy Haslam, the prospective new owner of the Cleveland Browns, is scheduled to watch the team practice and be introduced at a news conference on Friday, a league source told The Plain Dealer.

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Haslam, a Tennessee-based truck-stop magnate and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, completed an acquisition of the Browns on Thursday, the team announced. The deal is pending approval by NFL owners, which is expected to be completed in October.

"This is a very exciting time for my family and me," Haslam said in a statement. "To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true. We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL –- something all Browns fans want and deserve."

Browns president Mike Holmgren plans to meet with Haslam when he arrives in Cleveland, he told The Plain Dealer.

Holmgren said he hoped to remain with the Browns and that he spoke with Haslam via telephone on Wednesday. He said he did not know if former Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner would be part of the Browns' new management team, as has been reported.

Current Browns owner Randy Lerner will sell 70 percent of the Browns to Haslam, with the other 30 percent reverting to him four years after the closing date, a person with knowledge of the sale told The Associated Press.

Lerner thanked Browns fans on Thursday.

"I feel a deep debt of gratitude to the loyal and passionate fan base, as well as the people I've met and worked with over the years," Lerner said in a statement. "It has been a privilege to be involved with the Cleveland Browns and my only hope is that the Haslam family has the best of luck and that the Browns are restored to their rightful place among NFL Champions."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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