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The NFL definitely isn’t immune to the harsh consequences of a grim economy, with more proof of that reality materializing in Cleveland this week. The Browns have laid off 18 employees over the past two days, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The team has laid off director of media information Ken Mather, staff writer Steve King, and director of team operations Brendan Rowe, a team source told the newspaper, adding that as many as 40 Browns workers could lose their jobs during this upheaval. “It was a very challenging day for the Browns organization and it’s important to acknowledge the contributions of those who are currently with the Browns as well as those that are leaving,’' Browns President Mike Keenan wrote in an e-mail to the Plain Dealer. “We are not immune to the current economic climate and in order to ensure that our business operates in an honest, efficient and realistic manner, we were faced with extremely difficult decisions.” The Browns aren’t the only NFL entity having to make tough personnel decisions. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the league would eliminate about 150 jobs, roughly 14 percent of the league’s work force of nearly 1,100 people, due to the economy. That included parting ways with employees at league headquarters as well as NFL Films,, and NFL Network. “These are difficult and painful steps,” Goodell said a memo distributed to NFL personnel. “But they are necessary in the current economic environment. . . . I would like to be able to report that we are immune to the troubles around us, but we are not.” The Washington Redskins recently laid off at least 20 employees, according to the Washington Post.