Browns fire Palmer after 3-13 season

The Cleveland Browns fired head coach Chris Palmer on Thursday morning, according to team sources. Palmer was on the job just two seasons, posting a 5-27 record.

Chris Palmer
Chris Palmer lasted just two seasons as head coach of the expansion Browns.

Palmer's fate was decided Wednesday after the coach met with team president Carmen Policy and director of football operations Dwight Clark. Policy and Clark then discussed their recommendation that Palmer should be dismissed with Browns owner Al Lerner, who was reluctant but ultimately approved the decision, league sources said.

Palmer, 51, was informed of his fate this morning after a 3-13 season. He was 2-14 in the team's inaugural expansion season in 1999.

The Browns will begin a search for a new coach but have no favorite candidate. They have had dialogue with University of Miami coach Butch Davis, who has said he will remain at the school.

The Browns will screen numerous candidates, including Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy, New York Giants offensive coordinator Sean Payton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant head coach (defense) Herman Edwards and San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

It's also possible the Browns will consider college coaches, such as Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Stanford's Tyrone Willingham, Pittsburgh's Walt Harris and Washington's Rick Neuheisel.

The new coach will inherit a two-year-old expansion team that had considerable roster turnover and injuries to key players, including quarterback Tim Couch. Despite those apparent handicaps, Policy and Clark came to the conclusion that Palmer was no longer a good fit for the franchise.

Palmer had three years remaining on his contract, believed to be around $1 million per year. Lerner may provide him with additional compensation because of his concerns about the issue of fairness, sources said.

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