Update (1/14/14, 9:15 a.m.): Cleveland has turned this into a love story.
In a risky move, the Browns have decided to halt their head coaching search until after Denver's playoff run has completed, the Denver Post reported on Tuesday morning. It could be three more weeks until Gase is available for an interview, but the Browns are willing to wait.
***End of update. See the original story below.***
Two weeks ago, five NFL head coaches were fired following the conclusion of the 2013 regular season, a day known as 'Black Monday' in the sports world. Those five teams then scurried to secure interviews with the top head coaching candidates—Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase among them.
The Broncos offense broke (smashed) numerous records in 2013, including points scored (606), touchdowns (76), and games scoring 50 or more points (3). Gase oversaw it all as quarterback Peyton Manning's go-to-guy and Denver's offensive play-caller.
On Black Monday, the Minnesota Vikings (story) and Cleveland Browns (story) both asked to interview Gase for their vacant head coaching positions. While both teams still have interest in the young coordinator, Gase said at the time that he would not interview for any positions until after the Broncos' playoff run.
That brought a sigh of relief to Broncos fans, but it hasn't deterred Cleveland's pursuit.
According to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer, Gase is considered the Browns' top candidate.
UPDATES, via @JayGlazer: Adam Gase is Browns top candidate Mike Zimmer is Vikes top candidate Dan Quinn intereviewed w/ CLE will meet w/ TEN
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 12, 2014
Unfortunately for the Browns, they are not exactly offering up a dream job. Cleveland owns an 67-163 overall record since 1999, with six consecutive five-or-fewer-win seasons since 2008.
You get the increasing feeling, talking to people around the league, that the Browns job is seen as radioactive. Tough spot for them.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 12, 2014
Last week, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed with Cleveland and reportedly left a big impression on Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. Despite a seemingly successful interview, McDaniels followed it up by withdrawing his name from consideration for the job.
McDaniels indicated that the timing isn't right for him to become a head coach again, which has been translated by some to mean he's waiting for a more appealing team to come calling. Cleveland now considers Gase their top option.
The question is, what will Gase think of Cleveland?