Cleveland Browns, Alonzo Highsmith Agree to Part Ways; Conflicting Reports Regarding Eliot Wolf's Future
In what was always an expected move, the Cleveland Browns and Vice President of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith have mutually agreed to part ways, but it was a little more surprising to see assistant general manager Eliot Wolf go with him. Highsmith was hired by John Dorsey and part of his regime and there was a sense that he was likely to leave at some point, having interviewed for a job with the University of Miami. Wolf, meanwhile, seemed like he might be kept, but between his own ambitions and the direction of the team, that appears to have been impractical.
Initially, it seemed as though Highsmith might leave the same day Dorsey did, but the two sides kept it going for almost another month, likely just to make sure the organization didn't have a massive hole in it. It's possible that if the Browns hired a different coach and general manager, Highsmith would have stayed on for at least another season.
Highsmith was someone that was well regarded by players in terms of how he dealt with them, cultivating relationships and helping them with various challenges presented by the NFL.
Unfortunately, he was also noted for being a passionate University of Miami booster, being a legendary player from there, so when the Browns added former Hurricanes, they tended to stick to him. If he wasn't actively endorsing them, he wasn't throwing himself in the way.
In his time here, the Browns drafted two former Hurricanes, including Chad Thomas in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft and then Sheldrick Redwine in the fourth round of 2019. Thomas has been marginal at best and Redwine showed a little promise last year, but the coaching change may have an impact on the position he plays this coming season.
Eliot Wolf was the assistant general manager under Dorsey and many believed that he was going to be a general manager sooner than later. The Browns, with their embarrassment of riches, being set up for success, might have propelled him into that job. Neither of those have happened to this point.
Wolf wasn't as public as the other two, though the one player he seemed to absolutely adore in the two draft classes the Browns had while he was here was the selection of Sione Takitaki from BYU, picked in the third round of 2019.
New general manager Andrew Berry will have to hire a new Vice President of Player Personnel and could look to add an assistant general manager, though that is an optional position. In their effort to have an aligned organization, it will be interesting to see what type of front office executives Berry looks to add, having worked with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles as well as having developed a network of younger like minded individuals.
There is a conflicting report from Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com is reporting that Wolf's future has not been determined to this point.