- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
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Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner didn't have much trouble hiring a new coach in Eric Mangini, but he might have some difficulty pairing him up with a general manager.
Why? The coach was hired before the GM.
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert informed the Browns on Thursday that he is withdrawing his name from consideration to be their GM, according to a source. Heckert was scheduled to interview for the job on Friday.
Settled into a good situation in Philadelphia, Heckert decided it didn't make sense to pursue a job in which he wouldn't have a voice in the hiring of a coach.
Although there is no official word, it is unlikely that New England Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli would take the job for the same reason. Next week, the Browns will attempt to meet with George Kokinis, the Ravens' director of pro personnel. Kokinis is a longtime friend of Mangini's.
Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
Eagles general manager Tom Heckert has informed the Browns Thursday that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for their general manager's position, according to a source.