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Titans parting ways with GM Ruston Webster

The Tennessee Titans aren't finished shaking up the franchise.

The team announced Monday that it will not renew the contract of executive vice president and general manager Ruston Webster.

"I would like to thank Ruston Webster for all of his efforts with our franchise, as he is a man of great character and integrity and someone for whom we I have tremendous respect," said Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. "Our mission is to become one of the elite franchises in the National Football League, and we have fallen short of this goal in recent years. We are in the search process for our head coaching and general manager positions. We share our fans' frustration about the team's recent performance, and we are committed to doing everything we can to return our team to a perennial postseason contender."

Webster spent four seasons as the team's general manager, overseeing a milquetoast club that went 18-46 during his tenure. Despite fresh optimism after the drafting of Marcus Mariota, the Titans nosedived this season, finishing 3-13 while winding up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Titans also named Steve Underwood as their president and chief executive officer, stripping the interim tag from his title, while announcing that Vin Marino, VP of football administration, will oversee football operations during the GM search. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that director of college scouting Blake Beddingfield is a candidate to be promoted from within.

Titans fans have reason to feel frustrated. The organization seemingly houses more front-office henchmen than talented players, but this remains an intriguing landing spot. Mariota's presence alone could lure a top offensive mind to Tennessee. Chip Kelly looms as a logical candidate if the Titans are willing to take a chance, but the team also confirmed that interim coach Mike Mularkey would be interviewed.

The Titans can go in one of two directions: They can please their fan base by boldly swinging for the fences. Or they can hire Mularkey and a general manager who doubles as a compliant company mouthpiece. If Tennessee truly wants to become a "perennial postseason contender," it's time to finally go for it.

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