Change is inevitable when an NFL franchise hires a new General Manager and Head Coach, so the Browns’ ongoing front office turnover doesn’t come as a surprise.
“Nothing is certain except for death and taxes,” while attribution for this famous quote is up for debate, what isn’t is the fact that management names and faces are certain to change anytime an NFL team brings in new leadership. While the low-hanging fruit would compel us to bash the Cleveland Browns for hitting the reset button yet again, such transition occurs within every organization that makes similar moves. It’s only because the Browns go through this more frequently so fans are inclined to pounce.
Before John Dorsey left Berea, the focus of Browns fans’ ire was primarily Freddie Kitchens. When he was fired, everyone was seemingly excited, both about the prospect of a new head coach and what personnel moves Dorsey would make this offseason.
Sure, there were misses, with the drafting of Austin Corbett and the trade for Olivier Vernon coming to mind, but there were also the trades for Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., and drafting of Nick Chubb, leaving us eagerly awaiting Dorsey’s next wave of additions to the roster.
With John Dorsey’s departure and the eventual arrival of Andrew Berry, it seemed like a fait accompli that it’d be out with the old and in with the new. News of VP of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith and Director of College Scouting Steve Malin being terminated comes as no surprise, nor would Assistant GM Eliot Wolf leaving, but the timing and trepidation about their replacements leave us fearing the worst.
First of all, front office personnel and scouting changes almost always take place immediately AFTER the NFL Draft in April, not three months before it. Does this mean Andrew Berry, Paul DePodesta, an abacus, a calculator, SPARQ numbers, their laptops and reams of spreadsheets will be the foundation of Cleveland Browns’ free agent and draft decisions in 2020?
Andrew Berry is clearly a very bright guy who enjoys a stellar reputation among the NFL’s elite, so we’re hoping that the timing of his staff changes is an indicator of a vision that he has and is looking to execute. Until the NFL league year begins in mid-March, however, we’re left to fret about what lies ahead.