(Mandatory Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports)
Written By: Joseph Yun
A “corporate restructuring” was enacted in Nashville yesterday when General Manager Jon Robinson was relieved of his duties by Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk. What does that mean for the franchise going forward in the short and long term? Who will rise to take the throne in the power vacuum? Are there any internal candidates worthy of the job?
In a shocking move on midday Tuesday, the currently fourth-seeded Tennessee Titans fired long-time general manager Jon Robinson. He presided over the most successful period in the Titans franchise. Ian Rapaport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first reported the report of Robinson’s termination.
The Titans organization via majority owner Amy Adams Strunk has released a statement on the firing as well
As to why the surprising move occurred, there are several speculative reasons but one concrete story has come out in the wake of the move, per Pelissero
While the sordid details of why and how it happened are sure to reveal themselves in the coming days and months, it was one that could’ve been seen coming for a while. Robinson’s tenure was marked by spectacular successes and horrifyingly dismal failures. Success stories like building the core of the roster with talents such as Jeffery Simmons, Kristian Fulton, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Harold Landry, David Long, Jr, Nate Davis, and Amani Hooker. The success is buttressed by immense failures such as trading AJ Brown (some have speculated that contributed to his eventual downfall), drafting Isaiah Wilson and Caleb Farley, and failing to extend numerous first-round selections (it rivals the Knicks' putrid streak of not giving second contracts).
His latest gaffe was not addressing the left tackle issue with a more competitive option as Dennis Daley continues to assert his unassailable position as the worst tackle in league annals. This current iteration of the Titans may be well on their way to winning the abysmal AFC South but that’s more of a reflection of the terrible state of affairs in the division. This roster isn’t equipped to seriously compete with the elite powers in the AFC as the record repeatedly has shown. The majority of the blame lies within Robinson’s purview.
In the immediate term, the Titans have named VP of Player Personnel Ryan Cowden as the acting director of player personnel aka GM. Cowden has garnered several GM interviews during the past several offseasons, including a potential return to Carolina where he left for Tennessee in 2018.
Long term, it remains to be seen who will take over for the departed Robinson on a permanent basis, but it can be expected that head coach Mike Vrabel will have significant say in the matter. It will be very interesting to see who gets the full-time job given that scouting season is ramping up during the months of December and January. Another potential candidate is Monti Ossenfort, who like many in the organization has ties to the Patriots organization.
The highs and lows of this job are not one for the faint-hearted among us. He was a pillar of the community and for this organization throughout the duration of his tenure in Nashville. We cannot take that away from him. The man built the foundation of this winning run that the Titans are currently on but couldn’t evolve to maintain the house. Fare thee well, Mr. Robinson.