Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam issued a letter to season ticket members apologizing for the team's 1–15 year.
The Browns closed out the season with a 27–24 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jimmy Haslam accepted blame for the team's struggled in recent years.
“With the close of the 2016 season, we wanted to thank you again for all of your support and apologize for such a disappointing year,” the letter opens.
We greatly appreciate the tremendous passion and loyalty of Browns fans, and it is a difficult season like this that shows how truly fortunate we are to have such support. We fully recognize how tough this season has been for you, and we want to let you know it has been equally hard for us. We are extremely grateful for your support and do not take it for granted.
Clearly, this season has been a painful part of our building process. You deserve the best, and you certainly deserve better than a 1-15 team. We are sorry that our results have not been better.
Immediately following last season, we communicated our commitment to bringing in strong, smart leaders with high character, who would be relentlessly driven to improve our football team and look at every resource possible. We continue to feel very good about the leaders we have in place – Coach Hue Jackson, Sashi Brown, and Paul DePodesta – and how they have approached their individual roles, while working extremely well together, all with the sole interest of creating a consistent winning football team for you, the fans. While we obviously did not accomplish that this season, our confidence in our leadership’s character, attitude, approach and ability remains strong as we faced this year’s challenges.
We understand the critical nature of this upcoming offseason as we continue to improve our roster. Our personnel group has positioned us very well to add quality players through multiple high draft picks while maintaining salary cap flexibility and the ability to sign and retain our core nucleus of players.
We remain committed and determined to rewarding you with the consistent winning team you deserve. We will continue to do all we can to reach that goal.
Thank you for your support.
Dee and Jimmy Haslam
The Browns have the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks in the upcoming draft, so there is some reason for optimism.