The Randy Lerner era in Cleveland is reportedly coming to an end and that leaves Browns fans to ask: Who is Jimmy Haslam III ?
Gene Patterson, a news anchor at WATE in Knoxville,Tennessee says he's known Haslam for a number of years, emphasizing his good character as well as his business acumen.
"He's very philanthropic," says Patterson. "He and his wife Dee have donated a lot of money in the East Tennessee area on a number of projects and he seems like a good guy."
Patterson believes Haslam would be a "hands on" type of owner, but would make decisions behind the scenes.
Aaron Coleman Interview with WATE's Gene Patterson by Aaron Coleman
"He's not a Jerry Jones kind of guy who you would see on the sidelines and in front of the media making those types of decisions, but he would make more influential management-type decisions with the Browns."
James 'Jimmy' Haslam III is negotiating with Randy Lerner to purchase the Cleveland Browns. He is the son of James Haslam Jr, the founder of the "Pilot-Flying J" travel centers and the brother of Bill Haslam, who is the current governor of Tennessee.
Lerner is giving up controlling interest in the team after taking over the team in 2002 after his father, Al Lerner passed away.
Haslam is already a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which doesn't sit well with some Browns fans.
Patterson said when he spoke to Haslam during his brother's inauguration , he expressed his enthusiasm for being a part owner of an NFL franchise.
"I think he would be a serious businessman, but he also enjoys the idea of ownership of a franchise in the NFL."
Team president Mike Holmgren told reporters Friday afternoon that fans don't have to worry about the Browns leaving Cleveland if Haslam, or anyone else purchases the team.
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