The Eric Mangini era in Cleveland has come to a close.
Browns president Mike Holmgren met with Mangini on Monday morning, when he notified the coach of his termination, despite having two years remaining on his contract.
"This decision was not easy for me, and it was one into which I put a great deal of thought," Holmgren said in a statement. "Although we have made improvements this season, my responsibility is to ensure that we establish a program that will allow this team to compete at a championship level. That will continue to be our goal in everything we do. I want to thank Eric for all of his contributions to the Cleveland Browns, and wish him and his family the best of luck in the future."
The former Jets head coach had two straight seasons of 5-11 records in Cleveland. His 2010 regular-season campaign ended on a sour note as his Browns were upended by the Steelers 41-9 at home.
"He told everybody he loved them," wide receiver Joshua Cribbs told The Associated Press. "He said just what a head coach is supposed to say. We went out there and played for him throughout the year. We tried to do what he asked us to do. He was appreciative of the opportunity that we gave him."