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Hue Jackson implies he was paid extra to lose while coaching Cleveland Browns; team denies allegations

Taking to Twitter, former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson implied that he was paid extra to lose during his time with the team.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

It's been more than four years since Hue Jackson last coached the Cleveland Browns. But the former NFL head coach continues to make headlines regarding his tenure with the team.

RELATED: More Cleveland Browns coverage from WKYC

On Tuesday, Brian Flores announced that he was filing a lawsuit against the NFL and three of its teams -- the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants -- alleging racism in their hiring practices. Among Flores' claims is the allegation that he was offered a $100,000 bonus for each loss as the Dolphins head coach in 2019 as Miami attempted to bolster its position in the NFL Draft.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday night, Jackson claimed that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had offered him a similar deal.

"Well Jimmy Haslam, was happy while we kept losing," Jackson, now the head coach at Grambling State University, replied to a tweet about Flores' allegation.

In a separate reply to a tweet joking that Jackson -- who went 3-36-1 in his two-plus seasons as Cleveland's head coach --  would be on the Forbes list if such a deal existed, the 56-year-old head coach doubled down on his claim.

"Trust me it was a good number!" Jackson wrote.

Kimberly Diemert, a private investigator who also serves as the executive director of the Hue Jackson Foundation, tweeted on Tuesday that Jackson, as well as former Browns general manager Sashi Brown, current chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and then-Browns vice president of player personnel (and current general manager) Andrew Berry were paid bonuses for losses during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, in which Cleveland amassed a combined 1-31 record.

In a reply to Diemert's tweet, Jackson wrote: "I stand with Brian Flores. I can back up every word i’m saying."

On Wednesday, the Browns denied Jackson's allegations.

"The recent comments by Hue Jackson and his representatives relating to his tenure as our head coach are completely fabricated," a team spokesperson said. "Any accusation that any member of our organization was incentivized to deliberately lose games is categorically false."

Appearing on ESPN's "Get Up" on Wednesday morning, one of Flores' lawyers said that other former NFL coaches have reached out to them with allegations that they were also paid to lose. The lawyer didn't specify whether one of those coaches was Jackson.

The subject of intentionally losing -- or "tanking" -- had long been the subject of debate during Jackson's time in Cleveland, as the Browns embarked on an apparent rebuild. In 2016, Jackson's first season in Cleveland, he adamantly denied that the Browns were trying to lose games.

"I do want everybody to know we are not tanking the season," he said following a Week 3 loss to the Dolphins. "If that was the case, we wouldn't be trying as hard as we are. So I'm not after a first pick. I'm not after any of that. I don't think our organization is after any of that.

"We're trying to win as many games as we can win. It would make no sense to tank a season. If that's what I thought we're about, I wouldn't be sitting here today."

3News has reached out to the Cleveland Browns and will update this story with their comment when available.

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