The Cleveland Browns continue to restructure their front office, as they have reportedly mutually agreed to part ways with Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith.
EDITORS NOTE: Chris Mortensen updated his report that Wolf's future is still being determined after this story was published.
The Cleveland Browns have mutually agreed to part ways with Vice President of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith and assistant general manager Eliot Wolf, according to Dustin Fox of 92.3 The Fan and Chris Mortensen of ESPN. Highsmith and Wolf were hired by the Browns and John Dorsey in January 2018.
After the Cleveland Browns parted ways with Dorsey on January 2, Highsmith was reportedly already pursuing other jobs, although he was still under contract with the Browns. Highsmith was a candidate to take a position in the football department at his alma mater, the University of Miami.
However, the job between Highsmith and the University of Miami fell apart, so Highsmith returned to the Browns. When the Browns were operating without a general manager, Highsmith remained one of the leaders of Cleveland's scouting department.
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During the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama last week, Highsmith and Wolf were the executives conducting the scouting for the Browns. Highsmith and Wolf were leading the entire scouting department during the week in Mobile while the Browns were still searching for a general manager.
Highsmith's departure is not surprising considering he was a right-hand man for Dorsey. With Andrew Berry coming in as the new general manager, Berry will want to set up the scouting department with his own people and people he can trust.
Following the reports of his departure, Highsmith confirmed the news with ESPN's Josina Anderson. He also told Anderson "I wanted to go in a different direction because my philosophy on football is different from theirs."
As the Browns start to fall into the new league trend of analytics, Highsmith's opinion gives the impression that not all traditional scouts are going to appreciate a deep-dive into analytics.
Wolf's departure is mildly surprising because he has been considered a top general manager candidate for several seasons. He was a critical traditional scout with the Green Bay Packers and has a good eye for talent. Jimmy Haslam also said in the press conference announcing Dorsey's departure that Wolf would remain with the team in his current position.
With the departures of Highsmith and Wolf, the Browns currently no longer have a traditional scout as an executive in their front office, outside of Berry. Depending on who Berry hires to fill these roles, the Browns appear to be going in all-in with their analytics department.
The Browns were searching for alignment this offseason and keeping executives from the previous regime likely was viewed as a potential pitfall by Browns ownership. Although Wolf and Highsmith are considered good talent evaluators, the Browns are wanting the entire organization to be on the same page.