KOKINIS SETTLEMENT A NECESSARY ‘EVIL’
Nearly four months after being fired by the Browns, former general manager George Kokinis and the organization settled the grievance filed by the ex-exec.
The settlement was announced in a very brief (terse?) press release through the NFL.
“The grievance filed by George Kokinis against the Cleveland Browns has been amicably resolved. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Mr. Kokinis and the Browns wish each other future success.”
And, with those two sentences, one of the most bizarre chapters in the history of the organization – which is saying something given the past eleven years – has come to an end.
It’s unclear what dollar amount was included in the settlement – Kokinis was seeking in excess of $4 million – but there is one certainty that can be stated without equivocation: this was something that both sides needed to see come to fruition.
“Why’s that?” you might be asking yourself. Let’s just say that it was in the best interest of both sides to come to a very private agreement. Let’s just say that there were “issues” that neither side wanted to see the light of day.
There is no doubt that “The Great Kokinis Experiment” was an abject failure and embarrassment to all parties involved, but to place the onus solely on the ex-GM’s shoulders makes you either misguided or a member of the organization at the time. Or both.
DISGRUNTLED MIKE TALKING QUARTERBACKS
Even as Mike Holmgren bemoans the fact that the top quarterbacks will not throw at the
farce known as Indianapolis Combine, he is giving some insight as to the process involved in solving the “situation” the Browns have at the position.
Speaking to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Holmgren said it’s a quad process when it comes to trying to get a handle on the QB position.
“There are four things we're looking at. First we have to get a good handle on who our quarterbacks are in the building. Then I've got to look at the free agent list, who's out there in case you want to make a change. Then you have to look at the draft and who might be available if you're willing to pop early. That's a question. And fourth, are there any trade possibilities?
"So it's a little early [to draw conclusions]. I'm getting all the information I have to have to hopefully make an intelligent decision, not the least of which is knowing our guys better. I'm still learning about them, believe it or not. I've looked at all the film, but I haven't talked to the guys much, which I want to do.”
For both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, it has to be at least a little bit disconcerting that they’ve had precious little contact with the man who will ultimately decide their Cleveland fate.
Of course, when it comes to Anderson, he’s already seen the writing on the wall and has been telling those around him that he’s not long for Cleveland. Then again, he was telling some of the same friends at this time last year pretty much the same thing, and we all know how that turned out.
Regardless, it would be more than a little surprising if Anderson were still on the roster when his roster bonus comes due on March 19. Either by release (most likely) or trade (least likely), the curtain on the Cleveland career of Anderson is rapidly closing, even as certain members of the organization scramble to prop up what little trade value he still retains.
As for Quinn? Better odds than Anderson, certainly, but most assuredly no lock to return.
The groundwork for the future at the position will be put in place starting in Indianapolis over the next few days. Trade seeds will be planted, potential free agents will be “discussed” and, of course, draft picks will be poked and prodded and grilled even as they won’t be throwing.
It’s fair to say, even with all of the uncertainty right now, that the landscape at the most important position on a depth chart will look far different in a little over two months than it does right now.