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Independent Investigation Confirms Cleveland Browns Didn't Need to Tank to be That Bad Under Hue Jackson

Stephen Douglas
Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

Remember when Hue Jackson suggested that he was encouraged to tank while he was the coach of the Cleveland Browns? Well, the NFL looked into that and there's nothing to it. The Cleveland Browns really were that bad if you can believe it. And the NFL would really like you to believe it.

On Monday the NFL announced that "an independent review" found "no evidence" to substantiate allegations made by former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson that the team intentionally lost games in the 2016 and 2017 seasons."

As a refresher, those are the seasons where they went 1-15 and 0-16. The investigators spoke with owner Jimmy Haslem and other people who were with the organization, but no one would confirm that the Browns were that bad on purpose. It seems weird that Jackson was invited back for a third season after going 1-31 if they didn't mean to lose all those games, but I'm sure they had a good explanation for that. Especially considering in 2018 the Browns started 2-5-1 under Jackson - the first time they had shown improvement under Jackson - and that's when they decided to fire him.

Hopefully, this makes Cleveland feel better. The Browns who won one game in two seasons were not that bad on purpose. It was good old fashioned incompetence and a lack of ability to play football. That must be comforting for Browns fans.