Pettine said he never gave Browns ultimatum

Mike Pettine said he never told the Cleveland Browns he was thinking of withdrawing from the team’s coaching search.

Pettine said Thursday that he never gave the team an ultimatum and that the only time he expressed concern about the process was when he “vented” to his agent, Trace Armstrong.

“Not at any point did I say you need to tell me or I’m pulling out,” Pettine said.

The question was relevant in light of Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn saying he would have been interested in the Browns opening. The Browns chose not to wait, though, and hired Pettine. They said it was because they wanted Pettine, but when Pettine admitted he needed to know the team’s decision it indicated the Browns may have acted because of that.

“It was unfair to the Bills how long it was going,” Pettine said.

Armstrong was one of the league’s more respected players when he played, and he is a former president of the NFL Players Association. He might have conveyed Pettine’s feelings, but Pettine was not asked that, and everything he said indicated discussions stayed between him and Armstrong.

“It was putting [the Bills] in a tough spot,” Pettine said. “The loyalty there was a driving force, but it never came in the form of an ultimatum.”