Packers’ Front Office Situation Sounds Like Poison
As we told you earlier in the day, the Green Bay Packers lost senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith to the Cleveland Browns. Highsmith will serve as vice president of football operations with the Browns under another former Packers executive, John Dorsey.
That’s a promotion and good for Highsmith. He spent 19 years with the Packers. Although it was assumed he would get a chance to replace Ted Thompson as general manager, Highsmith said he didn’t think he would get the opportunity to interview.
What’s interesting is what Highsmith said on his way out the door.
No. 1: He didn’t feel trusted.
“We discussed so many ideas and all kinds of stuff,” Highsmith said. “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.”
No. 2: He felt stagnant and wasn’t having fun.
“This is an opportunity to build something from the ground up, having an input, working with John Dorsey, who I respect a great deal,” Highsmith said. “To watch his work ethic today — we watched film all day. He made me feel rejuvenated. It was a lot of fun today.”
No. 3: Other front office personnel will be leaving.
“It was a great 19 years,” Highsmith said. “I hope I did my part for the Packers to make them better. Now I’m gone and you know what, I won’t be the last guy.”
So much to process.
Let’s deal with the last one first. The Packers’ internal general manager candidates are Brian Gutenkunst, Eliot Wolf and Russ Ball. The first two are personnel guys. The latter is a finance guy.
If Ball or an outside candidate gets hired to replace Ted Thompson, Gutenkunst and Wolf are likely gone. Dorsey might just be able to rebuild the Packers’ front office in Cleveland.
If Gutenkunst or Wolf gets the job, we hear the other will stay. Who knows about Ball in that scenario, although we wouldn’t expect him to go anywhere.
It appears Highsmith believes Ball or an outsider will get the job. Ball is tight with team president Mark Murphy. They both have the same mindset — money.
The other two Highsmith comments can only be seen as shots at Thompson. He didn’t trust his personnel men or at least he didn’t make them feel trusted. Plus, it sucked to work for the guy.
Not surprising, considering the things we’ve witnessed and heard.