Chad Brinker

Titans GM Ran Carthon To Control Roster; Team Promotes Chad Brinker

Even if it was not necessarily a power struggle between Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel that led to the latter’s ouster, the Titans’ GM selection did not sit well with the fired head coach. The organization will now give Carthon more power.

A year after his hire, Carthon received a promotion. The Titans bumped their GM up to the position of executive vice president, per a team announcement that also includes the Brian Callahan HC hire becoming official. Additionally, the Titans are elevating assistant GM Chad Brinker to president of football operations.

Carthon’s title bump means he will control the 53-man roster and oversee the coaching staff,’s Terry McCormick notes, as opposed to Callahan being given that power. This is not surprising, considering Amy Adams Strunk pushed back on Vrabel’s interest in controlling the roster. Vrabel is believed to have made that push before the Titans hired Carthon, whom the six-year HC did not view as an ideal GM candidate in 2023. Adams Strunk, however, confirmed Carthon will have more responsibility going forward.

Ran’s exceptional reputation around the league as a talent evaluator and culture builder was a clear competitive advantage during last year’s free agency and draft process, as well as our recent search for a head coach,” Adams Strunk said. “Simply put, Ran Carthon makes the Tennessee Titans a destination for the league’s top talent.

By expanding his role to include full roster control and oversight of the coaching staff, our organization will now benefit more completely from Ran’s unique ability to build and lead a championship-caliber football team.”

Wednesday morning’s title adjustments are also notable involving Brinker, whom the Titans hired as assistant GM last year. The ex-Packers exec joined Anthony Robinson as assistant GMs in Carthon’s first year leading the front office. The Brinker hire occurred first last year. No Robinson title change has taken place, pointing to the Tennessee power structure being Carthon-Brinker-Robinson in 2024. That said, veteran Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky indicates Brinker is expected to report directly to ownership. That would give the Titans two front office pillars who will do so.

Brinker joined the Titans after 13 years with the Packers. Although no GM interview requests have come Brinker’s way this offseason, he is well-regarded around the league. The Titans placed Brinker in charge of cap management during his first year in Nashville. Robinson, who came over from the Falcons last year, oversees the Titans’ scouting department.

Adams Strunk’s comments regarding Carthon’s work in the draft are interesting. A recent report indicated former interim GM Ryan Cowden ran the team’s draft board last year; Cowden is now with the Giants. After working alongside a head coach with a certain level of power in Vrabel, Carthon is clearly in charge now. Carthon is not believed to have been involved in Vrabel’s ouster; that move came directly from ownership. Should Callahan be fired during Carthon’s tenure, the latter will almost certainly have a hand in it. Carthon joined the Titans after six years with the 49ers.

Titans To Hire Anthony Robinson As Assistant GM

The Titans will structure their front office to include two assistant general managers. Months after Ran Carthon named Chad Brinker to that position, the rookie GM will add another exec to that rung on the front office ladder.

Falcons director of college scouting Anthony Robinson will join the Titans as assistant GM, according to’s Albert Breer (on Twitter). Robinson had been with the Falcons since 2008.

Hired during Thomas Dimitroff‘s first year as Atlanta GM, Robinson moved up to the college scouting director post in 2019. Breaking into the business as a Ravens staffer nearly 20 years ago, Robinson became a full-time Falcons scout in 2011. Helping scout the likes of Devonta Freeman, Grady Jarrett and Calvin Ridley, Robinson moved into position to where a GM interview may not be too far off. The Falcons interviewed Robinson for their GM job ahead of Terry Fontenot‘s 2021 hire.

Carthon, who joined the Titans after spending several years as a top John Lynch lieutenant with the 49ers, will structure his front office the same way the Browns and Eagles did last year. Brinker, who came over from the Packers, will oversee the Titans’ football operations department; Robinson will run the team’s scouting operation, Breer adds.

Browns GM Andrew Berry organized his FO structure this way in 2022, promoting Glenn Cook to assistant GM to work alongside ex-Eagles staffer Catherine Raiche. After the Eagles lost several staffers — many to assistant GM roles — last year, Howie Roseman named Jon Ferrari and Alec Halaby as co-assistant GMs.

The Falcons kept Robinson in his college scouting director post despite changing GMs in 2021, with Fontenot taking over after Dimitroff’s lengthy run atop the NFC South team’s front office. Atlanta will now need to make an adjustment to replace Robinson.

Titans Hire Packers’ Chad Brinker As Assistant GM

FEBRUARY 14: The move is now official, per a team announcement. Brinker’s diverse background in terms of his inter-departmental work in Green Bay was noted as a key reason for his hire.

“Chad brings a unique skill set to our franchise,” Carthon said in a statement“He has touched every facet of the personnel department – working in pro personnel, college scouting, cap management and analytics. We are excited to add his knowledge and experience to our evolving personnel group.”

FEBRUARY 8: The Titans are arranging their pieces this week. A day after promoting Tim Kelly to offensive coordinator, the team will soon have its top front office lieutenant in place.

Tennessee will hire Green Bay executive Chad Brinker as its assistant general manager, Albert Breer of tweets. The veteran staffer has been with the Packers for the past 13 years, serving in scouting and executive roles with the NFC North franchise.

Brinker will join new GM Ran Carthon with the Titans, who continue to make changes in the wake of Jon Robinson‘s late-season firing. Although Brinker has not been a GM candidate, the Patriots attempted to interview him for a position during the 2021 offseason. The Packers blocked the move at that point, but the Titans job comes with a significant responsibility bump.

A Ted Thompson hire, Brinker joined the Packers as a scouting assistant in 2010. He served as a pro scout from 2012-17 and moved up the ladder by becoming the team’s assistant director of pro scouting. Brinker also served as a salary cap analyst at points for the Packers, who promoted him again in 2021. Brinker’s scouting background aside, Rob Demovsky of notes (via Twitter) he has made major contributions to Packers’ financial side in recent years. Brinker worked with Packers director of football ops Russ Ball on this front.

Brinker and Carthon have not previously worked together, with Carthon coming over after six years with the 49ers. Brinker has only worked with the Packers, beginning his career as an intern with the team in 2009. However, both were college running backs in the early 2000s — Carthon at Florida, Brinker at Ohio. Both then became UDFAs, though Carthon’s NFL playing career lasted a tough longer than Brinker’s.

After two years as one of Brian Gutekunst‘s right-hand men and nearly 15 with the Packers, Brinker will attempt to help Carthon build a foundation with the Titans.

AFC East Rumors: Patriots, Jets, Phillips

The Patriots‘ quarterback battle will tilt toward Mac Jones this week, by default. Cam Newton will not be permitted to practice with the team until Thursday. A COVID-19 issue will force the veteran quarterback to work virtually, according to the Patriots, who have called this a misunderstanding that stemmed from Newton traveling to a team-approved medical appointment outside Foxborough. Newton has not tested positive for the coronavirus, per the team, but an issue with his testing cadence caused this hiccup. Like Kirk Cousins and Lamar Jackson this month, Newton’s unvaccinated status has complicated matters for his team. Only unvaccinated players are tested daily; vaccinated players also are exempt from five-day isolation periods. One of the practices Newton will miss will be a joint workout with the Giants.

Until Monday, Jones had lined up with the Pats’ second-team offense, Mike Reiss of notes. This week certainly represents an opportunity for the first-round pick to gain ground. Both Newton and Jones played well in New England’s second preseason game, and OC Josh McDaniels said the 32-year-old incumbent remains the starter. The Pats have not named a Week 1 starter, however. Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Rather than give Jamal Adams a top-market contract, the Jets moved on via a blockbuster trade. It turns out, they were involved in a similar negotiation barely a year ago. Adams wanted to be the Jets’ highest-paid player and sought the $17.5MM-per-year figure — which would have surpassed C.J. Mosley‘s $17MM AAV — that he ended up getting from the Seahawks, Rich Cimini of notes. With the Broncos having yet to move Justin Simmons past the $15MM-AAV barrier, Adams’ ask was even farther beyond the safety salary range in 2020. Adams landing his Seattle extension last week, however, stands to benefit Marcus Maye in 2022. The Jets and Maye were not close on terms at July’s franchise tag deadline, pushing Adams’ former sidekick toward free agency next year.
  • Morgan Moses has not locked up the Jets’ right tackle job just yet, with Cimini adding that incumbent George Fant has pushed the longtime Washington starter. Fant has split first-team reps with Moses, with the team listing each as a starter on its depth chart. Fant started 14 Jets games at right tackle last year; Moses started every Washington game for the past six years at the position. Despite Moses’ superior resume, Fant is attached to a $9.1MM-per-year deal while Moses signed a one-year, $3.6MM pact after his Washington release. This is an interesting issue for the Jets to have, given their struggles up front over the past few years.
  • Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips seems to have both avoided a serious injury and run into a potentially problematic issue. The fourth-year D-lineman left Buffalo’s second preseason game with an injury’s Ian Rapoport classified as not serious (Twitter link). Sean McDermott, however, said the injury is to the same knee that required ACL surgery in 2019. It does not look like Phillips is in danger of missing too much time, per McDermott, but this will be an issue for the Bills to monitor ahead of the rotational lineman’s contract year.
  • The Patriots attempted to interview Packers executive Chad Brinker this offseason, but Albert Breer of notes Green Bay blocked the move. The Pats wanted to meet with Brinker about a job helping manage their salary cap. Brinker would have rejoined ex-Packers exec Eliot Wolf in New England. Instead, the Packers promoted him.

Front Office Notes: Hinkie, Packers, Titans

Sam Hinkie developed an interesting reputation in the NBA, taking a unique path toward rebuilding the Philadelphia 76ers during his run as their GM. He set them on their current course via historic tanking over a years-long endeavor dubbed “The Process” — one that led to the team making several lottery picks, two of those becoming Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Although Hinkie stepped down from his post in 2016, his work looks much better after those two prospects became stars and spearheaded Philly into the playoffs this season. And an NFL team took the time to pick his brain this week. Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports (subscription required) the Broncos brought in the 40-year-old executive for an analytics powwow. Hinkie spoke to the Broncos’ analytics department, as well as members of their scouting branch, football administration and conditioning staffs this week, per Jhabvala, on how to best use the data teams are now collecting.

Here’s the latest from some front offices around the league.

  • Green Bay will go with a two-man setup in a key role under GM Brian Gutekunst. Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowski will rise to the roles of co-player personnel directors for the Packers, the team announced. Sullivan previously operated as the Packers’ director of college scouting, doing so for two seasons, while Wojchichowski was the team’s pro personnel director in 2017.
  • Gutekunst also made some adjustments to the team’s scouting staff. Matt Malaspina will rise to Sullivan’s old job. A 20-plus-year NFL veteran, Malaspina was hired as a Packers college scout in 2017. The Packers promoted Sam Seale to a national scouting role after he spent time working primarily as a west region scout, per Chad Brinker will now work as Green Bay’s assistant director of pro scouting and serve as a salary cap analyst, while Pat Moore will come over from the Browns and work as a college scout for the Packers. While former Packers exec John Dorsey is now the Browns’ GM, Moore spent five years in Cleveland working under previous regimes. Former NFL defensive back Brandian Ross will make greater inroads into the scouting world. The Packers are promoting the 28-year-old, who played for three teams from 2012-15 after coming into the league as a UDFA out of Youngstown State, to a college scouting role after he spent last year as a scouting assistant. Luke Benuska will also earn greater responsibility; he’ll work as a college scout after serving as a pro scout.
  • The Titans made a few adjustments to their staff on Friday. Most notably, player personnel director Ryan Cowden will now serve as the franchise’s VP of player personnel,’s Terry McCormick reports (on Twitter). Tennessee brought in Cowden two years ago to that player personnel director role. Previously, he spent 16 seasons with the Panthers, finishing his years there as Carolina’s assistant director of college scouting. Additionally, Kevin Turks will now serve as Titans assistant director of pro personnel and Rob Reiderer will work as a scouting assistant.