Unpacking 5 dominoes that led to Jon Robinson's Tennessee Titans demise

The Tennessee Titans fired general manager Jon Robinson on Tuesday, sending a shockwave through the AFC South and the rest of the league two days after an embarrassing defeat in Philadelphia.

Robinson's tenure wasn't undone solely by that 35-10 loss, but more so by the trajectory of the franchise was trending downward despite leading the woebegone AFC South by three games entering Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Nissan Stadium.

Robinson was 66-43 during his six-plus seasons, including four playoff appearances, an AFC Championship game berth and the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2021. But the winning record wasn't enough to offset Robinson's personnel moves and declining success at the top of the NFL draft.

With that in mind, here's a look a five dominoes that doomed Robinson's tenure in Tennessee:

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Trading A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles

A.J. Brown gave the Titans a literal spanking Sunday, making his former franchise pay after trading him to the Philadelphia Eagles on draft night because of unsettled contract negotiations.

The trade gave Robinson a slew of draft picks, including the No. 18 selection used to acquire receiver Treylon Burks, but the deal was a head-scratcher then and the optics were even worse Sunday.

Brown had 119 yards and two touchdowns receiving against his former team, which has struggled with the 30th-ranked passing offense in the NFL in Brown's absence.

Two days later, Robinson was out of a job.

Failed draft picks: Isaiah Wilson, Caleb Farley, and Dillon Radunz

For all the goodwill Robinson accrued by drafting stars Jeffery Simmons and Derrick Henry, his most recent draft classes have left the Titans depleted in depth at key positions and increasingly vulnerable to the impact of injuries.

The biggest bust was offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, selected 29th overall by the Titans in 2020. Wilson played in one game for the Titans, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, and already is out of the league.

The next season, Robinson took a gamble on cornerback Caleb Farley at No. 22, despite Farley's lengthy medical history that stunted his success at Virginia Tech. Unsurprisingly, Farley has struggled to stay healthy in the NFL, making two starts while appearing in 12 games through two seasons with Tennessee.

Also in 2021, Robinson took offensive tackle Dillon Radunz out of North Dakota State in the second round. Radunz has been underwhelming, appearing in 22 games with just five starts on an offensive line that is desperate for help.

Wilson never made it to a second contract with the Titans, and Farley and Radunz aren't trending that way either. What's more, Robinson lost wide receiver Corey Davis in free agency after taking him in the 2017 first round, and cornerback Adoree Jackson, another 2017 first-rounder, was released in March 2021 before a second contract in a cap-shedding move to sign Jackrabbit Jenkins.

What's it all mean? Robinson failed, sometimes miserably, to turn first- and second-round draft picks into long-term investments.

Signing linebacker Bud Dupree

Following Dupree's six-year run with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Robinson led the Titans to sign the veteran linebacker from free agency in March 2021. Dupree signed a five-year deal with Tennessee worth $82.5 million, with $35 million guaranteed.

Dupree was coming off a knee injury when he signed with Tennessee and has consistently struggled with injuries since then. He appeared in only 11 games last season and recorded 17 tackles with three sacks. Dealing with a hip injury this season, Dupree has appeared in eight games with the Titans and recorded 12 total tackles with four sacks.

Dupree's acquisition put the Titans on the hook for more than $30 million in dead cap in 2021 and 2022, squeezing their ability to re-sign players like Brown, all for little production.

Letting Jack Conklin, others walk

The Titans' offensive line has been hampered by injuries, particularly to Taylor Lewan, but Robinson hasn't done many favors to aid the struggling unit.

Letting Jack Conklin walk in free agency in 2020 still stings. So does the decision to release starter Dennis Kelly that same year. Or the decision to cut guard Rodger Saffold in 2021. Or the decision to let another guard, David Quessenberry, test free agency and join Saffold as a member of the Buffalo Bills.

The moves shredded a Titans offensive line that received little-to-no draft support from Robinson's selection of Wilson and Radunz.

Failed trade results

Give Robinson credit for trading for starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, a remarkable success. And also give him credit for being aggressive in landing defensive end Jadeveion Clowney in 2020 and wide receiver Julio Jones in 2021.

But neither player panned out.

Clowney played for coach Mike Vrabel during their tenures with the Houston Texans, and he was expected to dominate for Vrabel again in Tennessee. But that never happened. Hampered by a knee injury, the Titans paid Clowney $12.7 million to play eight games with the franchise, and then he was gone.

The next season, while trying to find a missing piece for a possible Super Bowl run, Robinson landed Jones in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. But Jones, too, had an injury history, suffering through hamstring issues in recent years after dominating the league early in his career. The seven-time Pro Bowler appeared in 10 games for the Titans in 2021, catching 31 passes for 434 yards and one touchdown. He was cut by Tennessee in March.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Jon Robinson's Tennessee Titans firing can be traced back to 5 moments