As the Cleveland Browns start their head coaching search, their front office situation is reportedly fluid. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the head coach hire is expected to have input on whether John Dorsey will remain the general manager of the team. And while this precedent seems shaky, it's difficult to avoid given at least one of the candidates they are trying to interview.
When Dorsey headed the coaching search that resulted in the hiring of Freddie Kitchens, he was unwilling to consider New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as a legitimate candidate. The reason is because of the situation between McDaniels and the Indianapolis Colts, where McDaniels accepted the job only to then pull out a day later.
The general manager of the Colts, Chris Ballard, is one of Dorsey's closest friends in the league. The two worked together in Kansas City and they share the same agent, Bob Lamonte. When McDaniels pulled out, opting to stay with the Patriots, Lamonte, who was McDaniels' agent at the time, opted fired him as his client.
Since the Browns have requested permission to interview McDaniels, also according to Schefter, a working relationship between McDaniels and Dorsey could be incredibly counterproductive. Perhaps they don't care and can work together without issue, but that at least has to be a real consideration.
Kevin Stefanski, the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, who was a candidate last year, was believed to be passed over for Kitchens because of Dorsey. People like Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta among others were believed to push for Stefanski. If the Browns revisit the possibility of hiring Stefanski, that might also signal the end of Dorsey,, putting DePodesta in more of a position of power and shaping the front office to his preferences to fit around Stefanski.
It's a little unconventional that the Browns don't have their front office structure figured out before they pursue the coaching search, but they seem to be approaching this as an incredibly malleable organization. The assistants under Kitchens are still under contract as well. They seem to be keeping as many options open as possible at this point. Even stranger is at least right now, Dorsey is scheduled to appear in front of the media on Tuesday.