Source: Tom Heckert Leaving Eagles for Browns

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January 10, 2010

CLEVELAND — Tom Heckert is leaving the Eagles' nest.

Philadelphia's general manager has agreed to become the Cleveland Browns' new GM, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details of Heckert's contract have not been finalized, said the 42-year-old could join the team as early as Monday. The Browns recently hired Mike Holmgren as their president and now have found a replacement for GM George Kokinis, fired by the club in November.

Cleveland's front office is being reorganized under Holmgren, who interviewed Heckert last week in between meetings with coach Eric Mangini. Holmgren announced Thursday he was bringing Mangini back for a second season.

Heckert has been with the Eagles since 2002, serving as the club's GM since 2006. He began in Philadelphia's pro personnel department and during his time with the club, the Eagles won four NFC East titles and went to one Super Bowl. Heckert was in the final year of his contract in Philadelphia.

It's not known how much final authority Heckert will have over Cleveland's roster, draft and free-agency moves. In Philadelphia, he had to defer those decisions to coach Andy Reid. Heckert was considered for Cleveland's GM job last winter, but he withdrew his name after Mangini was hired.

Heckert has ties to the Browns. His father, Tom Sr., worked as a scout for the team in the 1980s.

Holmgren also interviewed Will Lewis, Seattle's director of pro personnel, for the GM opening. Lewis worked with Holmgren in Green Bay and Seattle. Lewis was a minority candidate, so his interview fulfilled the Browns' obligation to comply with the NFL's Rooney Rule.

It's possible Lewis could wind up in Cleveland. The Seahawks are undergoing a massive overhaul following coach Jim Mora's firing on Friday and are in negotiations with Southern California coach Pete Carroll.

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