The Cleveland Browns and vice president of player peronnel Alonzo Highsmith have agreed to “mutually part ways.”
Wednesday’s move came in the wake of the hiring of general manager Andrew Berry, which signaled a shift in direction for the Browns. That apparently was not something that Highsmith is interested in, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson:
Browns VP of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith to me on mutually parting ways w/ team: "I wanted to go in a different direction because my philosophy on football is different from theirs. I may go to Aruba, or go to the Masters. I'm going to take some time to do some fun stuff."— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 29, 2020
Highsmith continued to me: "I may also clean my garage, who knows. As far as football goes, I'll just have to wait to see what happens. I love all parts of the game. I've never been a title guy, working & contributing has always been my goal. So I do hope to return to the NFL."— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 29, 2020
Highsmith joined the Browns front office in January of 2018, along with assistant general manager Eliot Wolf, as then-general manager John Dorsey looked to stock the front office with people he was familiar with from his days with the Green Bay Packers.
The departure of Highsmith has been rumored ever since Dorsey was fired in December, and Highsmith was linked to the head of football operations job at the University of Miami, his alma mater, but a job offer never arrived.
It was originally believed that Wolf was on the way out as well, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Browns and Wolf are still working to see if Wolf will still have (or want) a role with the team:
Update: Wolf has not been officially informed of his future in Cleveland. A source says there is a ongoing discussion about whether Wolf stays or goes under current setup. https://t.co/100FcLKpdh— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 29, 2020
Cleveland also moved on from Steve Malin, the team’s director of college scouting.