Sports

Browns, Holmgren have deal

Mike Holmgren couldn't return to the Seahawks now even if he wanted to backpedal and accept the offer he declined over the weekend.

Holmgren has signed on to see if he can fix the Cleveland Browns.

Holmgren, who guided Seattle to the 2006 Super Bowl after winning a championship with Green Bay in 1997, accepted a job to become the club’s president on Monday, joining a franchise needing a major makeover after a decade of losing.

Browns owner Randy Lerner said the sides reached an agreement on Monday. Lerner said current president Mike Keenan will transition to the role of chief financial officer.

“We will spend the rest of the week finalizing the details of the agreement and will make a formal announcement next week,” Lerner said in a statement.

Holmgren is going to Cleveland strictly in an executive role. On his Seattle radio show last week, Holmgren indicated his job offer with the Browns could include a return to the sideline. But Holmgren’s duties likely will focus on personnel decisions, and there’s a chance he may bring in a general manager to help him.

It’s still not known what effect Holmgren’s hiring will have on first-year Cleveland coach Eric Mangini, who improved to 3-11 on Sunday following a 41-34 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Mangini may have strengthened his chances of staying for at least another year after leading the Browns to successive wins.

Holmgren, though, could choose to replace Mangini with his own coach in an effort to turn around the Browns, who have lost at least 10 games in six of the past seven seasons and made the AFC playoffs just once since 1999.

On Saturday, the 61-year-old Holmgren turned down a front-office position with the Seahawks, sparking speculation that he was headed to Cleveland.

Holmgren said he was intrigued by the opportunity to join Cleveland because of the absence of “layers” between him and Lerner, who in November announced he was looking to add a “serious, credible leader” to his organization. Holmgren spent two days meeting with Lerner last week and came away impressed by the owner’s passion to win and what he learned about the Browns.

Holmgren stepped down as coach of the Seahawks after last season to spend more time with his family.

Ex-GM goes after Browns

Former Browns general manager George Kokinis has filed for arbitration against the team for firing him.

Kokinis was dismissed by the Browns on Nov. 2. He filed the case with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation.

Kokinis is seeking more than $4 million in compensation and damages. He asserts that the Browns fraudulently induced him to join the team under the representation that he would have control over all player personnel matters and report to Lerner.

Favre, Childress at odds

Brett Favre and Brad Childress enjoyed quite the honeymoon in their first three months together in Minnesota.

A day after their first public spat, Childress said he was only thinking about Favre’s safety against a ferocious Carolina pass rush when he considered pulling him Sunday night.

“I’m watching, and I said, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m thinking about taking you out of the game here,’ ” Childress said on Monday. “ ‘I mean, you’re getting your rear end kicked.’ Through not a lot of fault of his own.”

After Minnesota’s 26-7 loss, Favre was asked about an animated exchange he had in the third quarter with Childress with the Vikings clinging to a 7-6 lead.

“Yeah, there was a heated discussion, I guess you would call it,” Favre said after the game. “We were up 7-6 at the time. … Brad wanted to go in a different direction and I wanted to stay in the game.”

Cowboys change kickers

The Dallas Cowboys cut placekicker Nick Folk and replaced him with Shaun Suisham, a former Cowboy.

Suisham was released by Washington on Dec. 8 after missing a key kick – the same problem that cost Folk his job Monday.

Folk leads the NFL with 10 misses, going 18 of 28 and missing seven of his past 11.

Suisham was released by the Redskins after he missed a short field goal against New Orleans, which rallied to win in overtime.

Extra points

Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck has a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season while outside linebacker David Thornton will have season-ending shoulder surgery later this week. …The Baltimore Ravens will continue their playoff push without rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his right knee suffered in Sunday’s 31-7 victory over Chicago. … Arizona left tackle Mike Gandy has undergone surgery to repair a sports hernia and will miss three to six weeks. …Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye will miss the rest of the season because of a fracture in his lower left leg. … The Pittsburgh Steelers say wide receiver Limas Sweed and long snapper Greg Warren will miss the rest of the season. Sweed is on the reserve non-football illness list. Warren has a torn ACL. … Tampa Bay rookie receiver Sammie Stroughter will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his right foot during a win against Seattle.

  Comments