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Cleveland Browns make wholesale front office changes

Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi are fired by the Cleveland Browns, with Ray Farmer being promoted to replace them.

The Cleveland Browns have made key changes to their front office just days before the NFL scouting combine, firing chief executive officer Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi.

The duo will depart their positions after less than two years with the franchise, with assistant general manager Ray Farmer to be promoted, effective immediately.

Banner and Lombardi were responsible for both the hiring and firing of former head coach Rob Chudzinski, who they let go in December after just one season.

In a statement, Banner said: "It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise.

"I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward."

The Browns have come in for criticism this off-season for their delay in naming Chudzinski's coaching replacement, finally naming Mike Pettine as head coach two weeks ago.

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Joe Banner of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for an NFL headshot on Thursday, April 22, 2010
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