The Tennessee Titans dropped an absolute bombshell on Tuesday afternoon by firing general manager Jon Robinson. Ryan Cowden is now the interim G.M., and Cowden has already made several back-end roster moves. Team owner Amy Adams Strunk will immediately begin the process of searching for Robinson’s replacement.
The Titans possess several in-house candidates to supplant Robinson. Cowden is an obvious one. The Titans clearly respect Cowden, who has interviewed for several GM openings in recent years. No stone should be left unturned, however, The Titans will have to put together a lengthy list of would-be candidates that includes personnel leaders from outside organizations. Our Jimmy Morris already covered who the in-house guys are. We’ve now swiftly identified three outside-the-organization potential candidates.
Mike Borgonzi, Kansas City Chiefs, Assistant G.M.
Mike Borgonzi is currently the assistant G.M. of the Kansas City Chiefs. Borgonzi was originally hired by well-respected ex-Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli. Pilo was the GM in KC when the Chiefs acquired Mike Vrabel in 2009. Borgonzi joined the Chiefs in 2009, serving as the club’s College Scouting Administrator. He’s swiftly risen through the ranks since then. Borgonzi is now Brett Veach’s right-hand man.
It’s easy to chalk up the Chiefs’ success to Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, but we’ve witnessed plenty of franchises flame out after handing out a high-priced contract to their elite quarterback. The backbone of the Chiefs’ roster has been excellent back-end churning and the constant acquisition of young talent. Drafting players such as Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Nick Bolton, Isiah Pacheco, Jaylen Watson and Juan Thornhill have been crucial to Kansas City’s maintained success. Borgonzi has played a role.
Chiefs now have promoted and added within their personnel department. The top names already have been GM candidates and will be again.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 9, 2021
The first name listed, Mike Borgonzi, is 41-year old, former All-Ivy League FB at Brown, who has been involved in both Pro and College scouting. pic.twitter.com/2mhfPz4Q0k
Ian Cunningham, Chicago Bears, Assistant G.M.
It’s a copycat league and NFL franchises will be circling the 11-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Rival teams will poach from the Eagles’ coaching staff and front office. Ex-director of Player Personnel Ian Cunningham is an intriguing candidate. Cunningham is now with the Chicago Bears, but helped build the Eagles’ current roster.
Cunningham first began making a name for himself under the excellent Ozzie Newsome with the Baltimore Ravens. One of Cunningham’s early gigs was as the Southeast area scout for Newsome’s Ravens. Cunningham’s area included Newsome’s alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman elevated Cunningham to director of player personnel during the 2021 offseason. Cunningham helped Roseman oversee his aggressive personnel upgrades before accepting a promotion with the Bears. Cunningham had previously interviewed and received interest from outside organizations. Cunningham is a little green and inexperienced, but his time as a general manager will eventually arrive.
Missed this news earlier today, but just saw the Bears are interviewing Ian Cunningham for a leadership role.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 28, 2022
Excellent, excellent hire if it happens. Cunningham has handled the SEC for Ravens and Eagles. That's one way to start a rebuild.
Ran Carthon, SF 49ers, Player Personnel
Ran Carthon is the lone ex-player to make our list. Carthon entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and played until 2006. Carthon then became an area scout for the Atlanta Falcons and worked under the excellent Thomas Dimitroff. Carthon also worked under Les Snead with the Los Angeles Rams. He’s currently with the San Francisco 49ers.
Carthon has helped 49ers general manager John Lynch build an elite roster. The 49ers have qualified for one Super Bowl and one NFC Championship Game despite lacking a high-end starting quarterback. The uber-aggressive 49ers appear postseason bound once again in 2022. Carthon will begin receiving interest.