Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's interest in having Peyton Manning join his franchise in a prominent team president/top executive role is very strong and sincere, league sources said, with the owner desperate to find ways to put a winning football operations and coaching staff together. The Browns are winless this season and have just one victory since the start of the 2016 season, when coach Hue Jackson was paired with general manager Sashi Brown, and Haslam is hoping his long relationship with Manning can lead him to Cleveland.

Manning has been in no rush to determine his next step in a post-playing career, though his love of the game and competitive nature had led many friends and former teammates to assume he will one day try his hand at running his own franchise as an executive, if not as part of ownership group. And those sources have pointed to the Titans and Saints as teams that would most interest Manning at some point, though it is obviously unknown if an opportunity to manage or own those teams as part of a group would materialize. In the meantime, Haslam, who has known Manning since he was a teenager being recruited to the University of Tennessee (where Haslam is a top booster) and is much closer with than many realize, has a very real problem right now and a deep hole of which he is trying to dig out.

It's a certainty the Browns will be undergoing sweeping changes this offseason, and given the failure of the franchise to be competitive under Haslam (4-42 since Dec. 2014) and the difficulty in luring top coaches and evaluators to Cleveland, Manning is seen as a potential cornerstone by the Haslams.