John Dorsey wasn’t a fan of the term.
“I wouldn’t call it ‘Green Bay East.’ I’d call it the Cleveland Browns https://www.packersgbstore.com/max-mccaffrey-jersey-c-57.html,” the Browns general manager and former Green Bay Packers personnel executive replied when asked about his staff in Cleveland — one that includes ex Packers scouts Eliot Wolf assistant general manager and Alonzo Highsmith vice president of personnel .
Dorsey smiled as he said this, knowing very well that his rebuilding Browns have a distinct green and gold hue to their operation — and that he consulted Wolf and Highsmith before acquiring cornerback Damarious Randall the Packers’ 2015 first round pick in a trade last month and before signing wide receiver/special teams ace Jeff Janis earlier this week.
Plus, Green Bay East sure sounds a lot better than Winlessville or 0 16 Town.
“Very rarely do you get a chance to acquire men of Eliot’s and Alonzo’s success in the National Football League, and the Packers organization, the upper management was gracious enough to let them interview with me,” Dorsey continued. “I couldn’t be happier with having Alonzo and Eliot here and I look forward to working with them for years moving forward.”
Wolf and Highsmith may not be the only ones Dorsey will be working with moving forward. He and Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst might be trading phone calls a text messages a lot as they look to improve each of their teams – and that could lead to be more cross pollination between the Packers and the Browns, given the deep connections.
That’s not to say Gutekunst will be looking to add the Browns’ castoffs after their 0 16 season, but if the Packers need to move up or down a few spots in the 2018 NFL Draft later this month, or the Browns don’t have room on their roster for a player the Packers like, the two might very well connect.
Like they did last month when the Packers sent Randall to the Browns in exchange for backup quarterback DeShone Kizer and a flip flop of the team’s fourth and fifth round draft picks, which moved the Packers up to the top of each of those rounds.
Gutekunst, who tried to keep Wolf in Green Bay after he and Wolf were finalists for the Packers GM position, said the Green Bay and Cleveland front offices had been in contact multiple times earlier in the offseason about each other’s players, and their connections meant honest back and forths were easy.
“Just because of the closeness of the relationships,” Gutekunst said. “We were inquiring about each other’s players quite a bit.”
However, the Kizer deal, while perhaps easier because of the connections, might have happened regardless of the preexisting friendships.
After Dorsey made a move to add ex Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor — the Browns sent a third round pick No. 65 overall to Buffalo — Gutekunst called because of the Packers’ previous interest in Kizer. Kizer had been on the Packers’ radar entering last year’s draft, and they might have drafted him in the third round had the Browns not taken him late in the second round No. 52 overall .
“When they acquired Tyrod Taylor Corey Linsley Jersey, I inquired about Kizer. And kind of went from there,” Gutekunst said.
The deal allowed the Packers to shed Randall, who some in the organization saw as a malcontent after a highly publicized sideline incident last season in which coach Mike McCarthy sent him to the locker room during the third quarter. While talented, Randall seemingly wore out his welcome in Green Bay, and he’ll probably benefit from a change of scenery and a move to safety, his natural position. Randall also Tweeted that he would prove the Packers were “dumb” for making the deal.
The Packers, meanwhile, must see Kizer as an upgrade over Brett Hundley https://www.packersgbstore.com/devante-mays-jersey-c-56.html, who was inconsistent when forced into action by Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone. He failed to throw a touchdown pass at Lambeau Field during his 10 game starting audition and was at quarterback for a pair of shutout losses.
“I think Kizer is a young quarterback who has an athletic skill set we look for. Exceptionally bright, very smart. He’s accurate with the football. He’s able to extend plays, make things out of nothing. I think he just needs time,” Gutekunst said of Kizer, who started 15 games as a rookie last season. “The things we’ve always looked for https://www.packersgbstore.com/corey-linsley-jersey-c-50.html in quarterbacks from a skill set … that was intriguing to us. Also, moving up in those two rounds, the fourth and fifth rounds, was important as well.”
The Packers enter the draft with 12 overall picks, and since it will be Gutekunst’s first in charge, it’s hard to predict how he might operate. Last year, Ted Thompson swung a deal with the Browns to move back out of the first round and took cornerback Kevin King with the first pick of the second round No. 33 and used the additional fourth round pick he got from Cleveland to draft University of Wisconsin linebacker Vince Biegel.
Asked if he might trade up, Gutekunst said it obviously depends on the player.
“A lot of it is depending on the player you’re going up for, that the value you think is worth it,” Gutekunst said. “Generally, you don’t like to give up things to acquire a player, like give up a player to acquire another player. Depends on the player. If the player’s value you think is worth it https://www.packersgbstore.com/justin-mccray-jersey-c-58.html, then you better be aggressive there.”
And it might help to have a trade partner you know well.