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Lerner family buys back Policy's 10 percent interest

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Team president Carmen Policy sold his 10 percent share of ownership in the Cleveland Browns back to the Lerner family, which purchased the NFL franchise in 1998.

Policy, who signed a five-year contract extension with the club in March, said his sale was formally approved in a unanimous vote by the league's owners at meetings last week in Chicago.

The Browns are currently estimated to be worth $618 million, according to Forbes Magazine.

The late Al Lerner outbid five other groups in '98 to buy the expansion Browns for $530 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a professional sports team.

Lerner hired Policy as team president and gave the former San Francisco 49ers president and chief executive officer 10 percent ownership.

Policy said he sold his minority interest to Lerner's son, Randy, who assumed ownership of the Browns after his father passed away on Oct. 23, 2002.

Policy had negotiated a possible sale of his ownership share into his new, five-year contract, which will begin in February. He said Randy Lerner was open to Policy maintaining his 10 percent share of the Browns if he chose to.

However, Policy said he wanted to give Lerner full control of the team's holdings.

Policy, who was with the 49ers when they won five Super Bowl titles, will continue as the team's president and CEO.