To fire Jon Robinson in-season, Amy Adams Strunk had to be really angry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In firing Jon Robinson before he completed the first year of an extension announced in February, Amy Adams Strunk made a giant statement.

Robinson’s recent player acquisition work was poor and watching the results of one of his biggest moves come to fruition on Sunday in Philadelphia was the concluding act.

Jon Robinson

A.J. Brown, traded to Philadelphia for draft picks as a result of a contract dispute, caught eight passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles trounced Tennessee 35-10 and dropped them to 7-5 while the receivers Robinson assembled managed four catches for 41 yards and a score.

The timing is a shock in that there is not a lot to be done on the personnel side of things between now and the end of the season. The Titans have $2.57 million in salary cap space to make minor adjustments and the trade deadline is passed.

She could have waited until after the season. So doing it now suggests she is especially angry and frustrated.

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There is no mystery as to why Strunk made the move, she made it clear -- his team construction and roster building leave more to be done and higher aspirations to be met.

Robinson declined to comment.

Ryan Cowden, the team’s vice president of personnel, will handle personnel matters for the remainder of the season. Cowden has been Robinson’s right-hand man through all the moves that got the general manager fired.

Monti Ossenfort, who’s in his third season as the team’s director of player personnel, might have been an alternative choice.

Robinson brought the Titans stability after woeful times during the years following Bud Adams' death and the eventual takeover by Strunk.

He found the Titans some gems in Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Brown and Jeffery Simmons and recruited important free agents like Rodger Saffold and Denico Autry. Still, recently he became most well-known for high draft misses and some questionable veteran acquisitions.

Not one player from a nine-man 2017 draft class that included two first-rounders and two third-rounders got a second contract with the Titans, though center Corey Levin returned and is on the roster.

The first-rounder from 2020, offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, played four snaps as a rookie, was traded away for pennies after one season and washed out of the league. A third-round running back from the same draft, Darrynton Evans, contributed nothing. Caleb Farley, the 2021 first-rounder, came into the league with questions about his back, was reduced to a special-team role this season, and is on IR with another back issue. The 2021 second-rounder, Dillon Radunz, drafted to make up for the Wilson mistake, is a backup guard.

A team that prides itself on filling a roster with guys who “love ball,” has a number who showed no fire for the game and didn’t make it through a season with the team, headlined by Vic Beasley and Josh Reynolds. Buster Skrine, Ty Sambrillo and Kevin Johnson quit football while with the Titans.

A trade for Julio Jones cost the team draft capital and money, prompting a restructure for Ryan Tannehill that left him with untenable cap numbers, and Jones did little to help the 2021 Titans before being released after the season.

The Brown trade seemed a quick surrender when three other teams in similar situations with receivers found ways to sort things out.

Even after moving Brown, the Titans find themselves facing a dire cap situation after this season. Over the Cap has them $14.88 million over the scheduled cap of $225 million.

That puts them in a position where they could have to extend Tannehill and cut players including Zach Cunningham, Taylor Lewan, Bud Dupree and Robert Woods. There are no clear replacements on the roster for Lewan, Dupree or Woods.

Of 29 players drafted by Robinson eligible for a second contract, only five have gotten one: Kevin Byard, Derrick Henry, Jayon Brown, Harold Landry and Amani Hooker. Jeffery Simmons, Nate Davis and David Long are in line to be added to the list.

The move puts Mike Vrabel in the seat of power now, a seat he deserves based on his excellent work despite the roster deficits he and his coaches were forced to deal with.

apple icon 144x144 precomposedI said yesterday that Robinson's unwillingness to churn the left tackle position, where Dennis Daley continues to struggle, was confusing.

The Titans have gone through 16 defensive backs on the roster because of injuries and draft deficiencies. Vrabel and his staff have coached up what they've been provided and gotten pretty good results considering.

Somehow Robinson showed no urgency to get his coaches someone who they could coach up and might turn into a better option at left tackle.

It's a non-move like that that helped cost him his job.

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