Despite the fact that the Tennessee Titans are currently in first place in the AFC South and are cruising to another postseason appearance under head coach Mike Vrabel, the team fired general manager Jon Robinson on Tuesday, shocking the NFL world.
“Since becoming controlling owner in 2015, my goal has been to raise the standard for what is expected in all facets of our organization,” Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “I believe we have made significant progress both on and off the field through investments in leadership, personnel, and new ideas. This progress includes the core of our business, the football team itself, which is regularly evaluated both by results (wins and losses) and team construction/roster building. I am proud of what we have accomplished in my eight seasons of ownership, but I believe there is more to be done and higher aspirations to be met.”
The firing came on the heels of A.J. Brown absolutely shredding the Titans in the Eagles’ win last week, which many saw as a statement given that Tennessee traded Brown away. That trade has not worked out for them as Brown has emerged as one of the top receivers in the NFL while the Titans have struggled to move the ball through the air. That’d led many to speculate that the two things were connected.
That led some to look back at the video of the Titans’ war room after they traded Brown as a visibly bothered Vrabel paces back and forth, implying that he was very much against the decision.
Mike Vrabel won the power-struggle with Jon Robinson. This was his reaction to the A.J. Brown trade during the Draft.
Of course, it was also Robinson that drafted Brown in the 2nd round in the first place. Gave the Titans 4 cheap rookie years and then flipped him for a 1st. pic.twitter.com/mMUryPNlkC
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 6, 2022
Wednesday, Vrabel was asked if he had any say in the decision to fire Robinson.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel asked if he was part of evaluating Jon Robinson: "No, I was informed of the decision. This wasn't a decision that included me. It was a decision that was made, and I was informed of the decision."
On whether he or Ryan Cowden has final say: "Amy does."
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 7, 2022
“No, I was informed of the decision,” said Vrabel. “This wasn’t a decision that included me. It was a decision that was made, and I was informed of the decision.”
Vrabel was then asked if he or interim general manager Ryan Cowden has the final say on team matters.
“Amy does,” he responded.
The hierarchy is clear in Tennessee.