The Browns’ staff under new GM John Dorsey is starting to take shape. The Browns have hired executive Alonzo Highsmith away from the Packers, as Ryan Wood of the Press-Gazette tweets. Highsmith’s title will be Vice President of Football Operations, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).
Highsmith has served as the Packers’ senior personnel executive since 2012 and, this past season not withstanding, their strong drafts have propelled them to tremendous success. Highsmith has garnered attention from other teams in the past and been made to stay, but it appears that he has either secured permission to go elsewhere or his contract has expired.
“We discussed so many ideas and all kinds of stuff,” Highsmith said to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky in a phone interview. “I was exposed to so much stuff today. That’s why I thought it was as great opportunity. It feels good to go somewhere that you feel like you’re trusted.”
Dorsey is expected to shift the Browns’ front office from a focus on analytics to a concentration on old-fashioned scouting and the hiring of Highsmith is a major push in that direction. With a new lieutenant in town, the team could be one step closer to moving on from former baseball GM Paul DePodesta. Recently, Dorsey ripped into predecessor Sashi Brown as well as the people working underneath him.