It isn't known when Kokinis' interview will take place. Lerner has spent the past week meeting with coaching and GM candidates in the New York area. Mangini, the front-runner to become Cleveland's coach, has expressed an interest in working with Kokinis, a longtime friend who worked with him for two years in Cleveland and one in Baltimore.
Lerner wants to make sure his coach and GM are in concert after Savage and former Browns coach Romeo Crennel's relationship soured in their last two seasons together.
It's possible Pioli might want to stay in New England and he might not want to work again with Mangini, who turned in the Patriots for their infamous "Spygate" caper.
Mangini has been Lerner's preferred choice to take over in Cleveland since he was let go by the Jets, who missed the playoffs with a 1-4 finish as quarterback Brett Favre struggled down the stretch. Lerner believes the 37-year-old Mangini, who went 23-26 and made one postseason appearance in three seasons with New York, will win big at some point and doesn't want to let him slip away.
Like Mangini, Kokinis broke in with Cleveland in the early 1990s while Bill Belichick was coach. He moved with the Browns to Baltimore and has spent the past five years as the team's director of pro personnel under GM Ozzie Newsome.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press