Packers executive Alonzo Highsmith expected to join Browns
GREEN BAY – Alonzo Highsmith, the Green Bay Packers long-time senior personnel executive, is expected to join general manager John Dorsey’s staff with the Cleveland Browns, a source told PackersNew.com on Tuesday.
A deal that would give Highsmith a vice-president title inside the Browns' organization and place him directly under Dorsey is being finalized, the source said. It would be a reunion for Highsmith and Dorsey, who worked together for 13 years in Green Bay.
Dorsey, who left the Packers in 2012 to be the Kansas City Chiefs’ general manager, was hired as the Browns' general manager last month.
Originally hired by Ron Wolf, Highsmith has worked in the Packers' personnel department 19 years. An elite personnel evaluator, his importance to the organization can’t be overstated. Among others, Highsmith discovered Donald Driver, a former seventh-round pick who became the Packers' all-time leading receiver, and former undrafted cornerback Sam Shields.
Highsmith could be the first top-tier scout to depart the Packers' personnel department, depending on how the Packers' search for a general manager concludes. In his remarks to the media Tuesday, team president Mark Murphy opened the door for potential internal candidates to interview for parallel positions if they were not hired as the Packers' next general manager.
“If it’s a great opportunity for somebody,” Murphy said, “I don’t want to hold them back.”
In Cleveland, Highsmith will get an opportunity to put his scouting skills to good use. He will join a newly assembled personnel staff charged with rebuilding a Browns team that finished 2017 with a 0-16 record. It was only the second time in NFL history a team had an 0-16 season, joining the 2008 Detroit Lions.
Highsmith joined the Packers' personnel department in 1999 when Wolf hired him as a college scout. He spent his first 13 years as a college scout, primarily responsible for the Southwest region. Highsmith was promoted to senior personnel executive in 2012.