Although a rift developed between Brown and former team owner Randy Lerner, Brown told NFL Network's Willie McGinest and Andrew Siciliano he holds former team president Mike Holmgren responsible for the falling out.
"(Holmgren) didn't fire me. He just decided I was getting paid too much. And he didn't need me to do anything but maybe a little dancing," Brown said on "NFL Total Access" on Friday. "I didn't feel that he understood my relationship with Cleveland, and I didn't think that he really cared. ... The disconnect was that I was not one of his boys."
It was that climactic meeting with the imported Holmgren that caused Brown to conclude that he no longer carried respect as a Cleveland legend in the organization.
"I thought I had the kind of a relationship that would never, ever come to have someone from another city deciding my fate," Brown explained. "I just thought it would be the Lerners, not the Holmgrens.
As a result of his fractured relationship with franchise management, Brown was left out of the 2010 Ring of Honor ceremony. "It really did (hurt). It did not feel good," Brown said. "And I took it. And I did not bash anyone. ... I sort of went home."
The most iconic franchise of the 1940s and '50s now has arguably the NFL's greatest player back in the fold. More importantly, Brown is promising positive change for a fanbase that hasn't seen a champion since his penultimate season in 1964.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.