Browns hire Ravens pro personnel director Kokinis as general manager

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens pro personnel director George Kokinis has been hired as the Cleveland Browns' general manager, reuniting him with new coach and close friend Eric Mangini.

Kokinis, who began his NFL career as an intern in the Browns' operations department in 1991, was picked by Mangini, who recommended him to Browns owner Randy Lerner. Mangini took over as Cleveland's coach Jan. 7, just one week after he was fired after three seasons with the New York Jets.

Determined to match a coach and GM who can work well together after the relationship between Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage failed, Lerner is teaming up a pair of friends who shared an apartment when they first broke into the NFL.

Terms of the deal weren't immediately known.

The Browns scheduled a news conference for today to introduce Kokinis, 41, who spent 13 years with the Ravens, the past six as director of pro personnel.

"Cleveland is a football town, and I look forward to working alongside Eric Mangini and the rest of the organization," Kokinis said in a statement.

Kokinis did not return a text message last night from The Baltimore Sun.

As head of the pro personnel department with the Ravens, Kokinis was instrumental in the team's trading for quarterback Steve McNair and running back Willis McGahee and signing safety Jim Leonhard, offensive tackle Willie Anderson and linebacker-special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo in free agency.

With Kokinis gone, the Ravens are expected to promote Vince Newsome (no relation to GM Ozzie Newsome) to pro personnel director. Newsome has been the Ravens' assistant pro personnel director for six years.

There is a possibility the Ravens could change the title of Eric DeCosta from director of college scouting to director of player personnel. The Ravens gave that designation to Savage in 2003.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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