Browns front office taking on a green-and-gold tint
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey is reshaping the team’s front office with a decidedly green-and-gold accent.
Cleveland Browns general manager has been a busy man since taking over in December.
And because of his work the Browns front office is starting to take on a green and gold tint.
While the team has not made it official, Alonzo Highsmith is joining the front office as vice president of football operations. He just finished his 19th year as a member of the Packers’ personnel department, the last six in the role of senior personnel executive, and worked closely with Dorsey, a former director of college scouting for the Packers.
With Highsmith in place, Dorsey may once again turn his eyes to Green Bay as ESPN’s Rob Demovsky is reporting that the Browns are interested in hiring Eliot Wolf, who was passed over for the Packers general manager job over the weekend in favor of Brian Gutekunst.
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Wolf has spent 14 years with the Packers and, like Highsmith, has a history of working with Dorsey in Green Bay.
According to his bio on the Packers’ website, Wolf just finished his 14th season with the club and his second as the director of football operations. He has also worked in the roles of director of player personnel, director of pro personnel, assistant director of player personnel, and assistant director of pro personnel.
Wolf’s main duties for the Packers include coordinating the pro and college football departments; evaluating players in the NFL and college via film study; and managing the team’s involvement in visits with college players, attendance at pro days, the annual NFL Scouting Combine, and the various college all-star games, including the Senior Bowl.
If that is not enough, he is also in charge of managing scouting, evaluating free agents and recommending which players to bring in during tryouts.
Even without the connection to Dorsey, the Browns have been linked to Wolf in the past. When owner Jimmy Haslam hit the reset button following the 2015 season, reports surfaced that Wolf would be in the running for a front office role.
Now, two years later and with another Haslam-approved rebuild under way, Wolf may be back in play, although he is still under contract with the Packers.
It is obviously too early to tell if Dorsey will end up being a good hire, or if Haslam will be willing to give him enough time for everyone to find out, but Dorsey’s experience and connections throughout the league have been very evident so far. The Highsmith hire looks to be a win and if Dorsey can bring Wolf to town, the Browns might actually be onto something good.
Next: An open letter to Hue Jackson
How head coach Hue Jackson fits into this new green-and-gold version of the Browns remains to be seen, but looking at their backgrounds, it is safe to believe that Dorsey, Highsmith and Wolf would have little tolerance for seeing a continuation of the 1-31 streak that Jackson has posted in his two years with the Browns.