In a move reported by NFL.com, the Cleveland Browns have officially fired first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapport confirmed Sunday night that Chudzinski had indeed been fired. Cleveland lost the final game to Pittsburg and ended the season with a record of 4-12.
Why should Penn State fans care about what happens in Cleveland? For the simple fact that the Browns are now another possibility for Bill O’Brien if he chooses to make the jump back to the NFL.
The NFL.com report on the Chudzinski’s firing indicated that O’Brien would be near the top of the list of possible replacements. O’Brien interviewed with the Browns after last season, but ultimately returned to Penn State for a second season.
With the success O’Brien has had in a difficult situation at Penn State and the experience he already has at the professional level, the Browns are likely one of several teams that will have interest in O’Brien taking over as head coach. The NFL regular season ends tonight, opening the door for team’s whose seasons are done to fire their current coaches and get a jump-start on the hiring process.
O’Brien recently finished the second season in his five-year contract that he signed at Penn State. The contract does have a buyout clause that was lowered at some point this year. It’s now believed to be around 6.5 million.
The popular head coach has been in the headlines all weekend after interviewing this week with the Houston Texans. It was reported on Saturday that O’Brien and Houston were close to finalizing a deal to make him the new head coach.
Follow VBR Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter