Report: Browns researching coaching candidates

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly researching replacements for first-year coach Freddie Kitchens.

“The Browns have been doing due diligence and making calls on potential new head coaches. Yet another bad sign for Freddie Kitchens,” CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweeted Sunday morning.

Cleveland was considered a contender in the AFC North entering this season after acquiring star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to pair with second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Instead the Browns were blown out 43-13 by the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 and lost six of their first eight games. They were 6-9 entering Sunday’s finale in Cincinnati against the 1-14 Bengals.

Cleveland was 7-8-1 last season under coaches Hue Jackson and Gregg Williams. The Browns have not been to the playoffs since the 2002 season.

Also in apparent jeopardy is Cleveland GM John Dorsey, according to a report by NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Dorsey is “not completely safe,” says the report, which notes that Dorsey is thought to be the driving force behind the hiring of offensive coordinator Todd Haley in 2018, which turned out to be a spectacular failure, as was Dorsey’s endorsement of Kitchens.

Kitchens, 45, has been criticized for some of his play calling and for the Browns’ occasionally sloppy and undisciplined play.

The low point came in the Nov. 14 matchup vs. the Steelers when Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and then hit him in the head with it. Garrett was suspended by the NFL for the rest of the season.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)