The Cleveland Browns made it official Monday evening what had been widely reported the last few days, naming former Eagles executive Tom Heckert the club's new general manager.
Heckert, who served in the same capacity in Philadelphia the last four seasons, will reportedly have final authority over the Browns 53-man roster, though team president Mike Holmgren said he and Heckert will be in "close communication" and that the Browns will make consensus decisions.
"Andy thought the world of Tom," Holmgren said in a story on the Browns official Web site. "I think they worked hand in hand, but clearly Tom set up the board, ran the personnel side of that. As you approach the draft you, of course, you funnel down those meetings from assistant coaches, scouts and everybody down to the decision makers and I think that's what happened in Philadelphia and that's what will happen here.
"Tom had a lot to do with the success they had in Philadelphia in personnel. If you asked Andy Reid he would tell you the same thing."
Asked earlier in the day about whether he tried to convince Heckert to stay in Philadelphia, Reid said: "Tom is one of my favorite people and I think he's great at what he does, phenomenal. The things that he's helped us do here are phenomenal. If it works out at Cleveland, I also know he's working with one of my best friends and somebody that will allow him, if it comes down to that, to do even more than he was doing here.
"Opportunities, I'm always looking to help my guys out for opportunities and if that's the case then I think that's a great one for him."
Published reports the last few days are that Howie Roseman, the Eagles' vice president of player personnel, would step into the GM role.
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 10:46 p.m., January 11