Bruce Allen

NFC Notes: Cousins, Foster, Scandrick, Cards

The Redskins are using the franchise tag arrangement with Kirk Cousins once again, and some more information about how the franchise planned its negotiations this past summer has emerged. Washington submitted the offer Bruce Allen referenced — a five-year proposal worth just less than $110MM, with $53MM fully guaranteed at signing — in May, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. But Rapoport adds the team did not do anything to sweeten its offer in the months that followed, leading to the stalemate dragging past July 17.

This lack of a notably different second offer came in spite of Allen meeting with Cousins’ agent in Chicago and the Redskins president meeting with Cousins and his father in a four-plus-hour summit Rapoport describes as friendly. Allen, per Rapoport, said he would make another proposal between then and the July 17 deadline. But it did not arrive, and the same offer ended up being a take-it-or-leave-it submission.

Washington cannot renegotiate with Cousins until after the season, when the price for a tag will skyrocket — up to approximately $34MM — and put the Redskins to a higher-stakes decision.

Here’s the latest from the NFC as the conference’s Week 1 slate winds down.

  • Orlando Scandrick broke his hand during the Cowboys‘ Sunday-night win over the Giants, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). However, the veteran slot cornerback underwent surgery on Monday and is adamant on playing in Week 2. Scandrick’s goal might have been a bit optimistic, though. The surgery was a success, per ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, but the Cowboys don’t sound like they’re counting on him next week. Week 3 looms as a target, Archer notes. Scandrick missed four games last season and struggled with foot trouble. He’s back in his primary role, though, and is a key cog on a Cowboys defense that lost multiple cornerback regulars in free agency.
  • While an official timetable for Reuben Foster‘s high-ankle sprain isn’t yet known, Kyle Shanahan is expecting the first-round pick to miss at least a month. The rookie 49ers coach said Monday, via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter), the four-to-six-week range would be the typical hiatus length. The 49ers are down to their third option at outside linebacker after Malcolm Smith tore a pectoral muscle and was lost for the season in training camp.
  • Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters on Monday morning that left tackle D.J. Humphries will miss a week or two with a sprained MCL. John Wetzel is expected to start in his absence. Humphries debuted on the left side on Sunday after he and Jared Veldheer switched positions in the offseason.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Redskins Announce Front Office Changes

The Redskins are reshuffling things in the front office. On Tuesday morning, the team announced a number of moves, including the promotion of Doug Williams to the title of senior vice president of player personnel. Doug Williams

In related news, Eric Schaffer has been named vice president of football operations and Scott Campbell will become senior personnel executive. The most notable element here, however, is perhaps the move that wasn’t made by Washington. The team did not announce a new general manager, giving the impression that team president Bruce Allen will once again call the shots and have final say over the roster.

Williams, of course, is a Redskins legend for his Super Bowl XXII MVP performance following the 1987 season. In that game, the former first round pick helped the Redskins put up 42 points as they downed John Elway and the Broncos. Williams, who has spent eleven years in various scouting and personnel roles with the Buccaneers and Redskins, says that he is excited for the new challenge.

You want this day to come. You hope it comes. It’s here today,” Williams said at a presser on Tuesday morning. “I’m blessed and I’m going to embrace it.”

At least for this year, the expectation is that Williams & Co. will report to Allen, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. More tweaks could be on the way, however. Redskins’ Director of Pro Personnel director Alex Santos is one of the execs that could be primed for a bigger role, per Pelissero.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Unlikely To Hire General Manager?

The Redskins have submitted a proposal to the NFL to restructure their front office without hiring a formal general manager, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter links).Bruce Allen/Daniel Snyder (Vertical)

Team president Bruce Allen would likely remain in charge in a realignment, and probably would have retained final say even if a general manager were hired, as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com hinted on Wednesday. Allen was essentially running the Redskins even when McCloughan was in town, according to Michael Lombardi of The Ringer (Twitter links), as Allen — despite his title — was effectively Washington’s GM while McCloughan was the team’s head personnel man.

Washington has been operating without a GM since it dismissed Scot McCloughan on the first day of the free agent period. La Canfora reported yesterday that the Redskins’ “most likely course” would be to promote a general manager from within, while Mike Jones of the Washington Post recently identified senior personnel executive Doug Williams as a potential candidate to take over as the club’s top decision-maker.

Restructuring the front office without hiring a general manager clearly wouldn’t lead to a Williams promotion to GM, but it could conceivably involve new titles for Williams and other staffers such as scout Alex Santos and contract negotiator Eric Schaffer, as La Canfora suggested yesterday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Likely To Hire GM From Within?

The Redskins have now tackled both free agency and the draft without a formal general manager in place, as Scot McCloughan‘s departure left a vacancy atop Washington’s decision-making structure. Having maneuvered the two primary avenues of player acquisition sans GM, the “most likely course” for the Redskins is to promote incumbent executive Doug Williams into a more critical position that supervises football operations, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.Doug Williams

Williams, who has worked for the Redskins since 2014 and also has experience with the Buccaneers and Jaguars, has been linked to a possible ascension in the nation’s capital previously, as Mike Jones of the Washington Post indicated earlier in March that Williams could be a candidate to take over as general manager. Other known quantities such as former Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik, ex-Chargers GM A.J. Smith, and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock have also been linked to the job, but La Canfora reports Washington “never really wanted” to make an external hire.

Even if Williams is promoted to general manager, team president Bruce Allen would effectively remain in charge, per La Canfora. But new roles could also be in store for employees such as scout Alex Santos and or contract negotiator Eric Schaffer, according to the CBS scribe.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bruce Allen To Scot McCloughan: “Nobody Wants You Here”

Redskins president Bruce Allen spoke highly of fired general manager Scot McCloughan over the weekend, but it appears their relationship was disastrous behind the scenes. McCloughan relayed details of his two-plus-year tenure in Washington to his friend, former NFL fullback Michael Robinson, who passed along that information to FOX Sports 910 in Richmond, Va., on Thursday (via Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch).

Bruce Allen / Scot McCloughan (Featured)[RELATED: Redskins Offering Cousins 5-Year Extension]

While Allen claims he and McCloughan “had a wonderful relationship,” that wasn’t the case, according to the latter.

“(McCloughan) knew the players loved him, and he started feeling the hate from Bruce Allen right around, well, he’s been feeling it, but when they didn’t let him speak (to reporters) at the Senior Bowl, he said to him that was his last straw, and he knew that he was on his way out,” Robinson stated. “He said it was after a draft meeting, after the combine, Bruce called him up to his office and was just like, ‘Nobody likes you in this building. Nobody wants you here.’ And Scot was like, ‘Well, I guess I’m out of here.'”

After Allen hit McCloughan with the aforementioned gag order during the Senior Bowl, the GM wasn’t present at the scouting combine. The Redskins attributed McCloughan’s absence to the death of his grandmother, but speculation abounded regarding his status with the organization. And when the Redskins fired him shortly after, on March 9, a team official told the Washington Post that McCloughan, who has a history of alcohol abuse, “had multiple relapses” and “showed up in the locker room drunk on multiple occasions.” McCloughan says otherwise.

“He said, ‘Mike, I don’t have an issue right now drinking,'” Robinson revealed. “‘I haven’t touched a drink in a while. But of course they wouldn’t let me say it because they silenced me.'”

It’s possible McCloughan’s next move will be to take legal action against the Redskins, though the two sides could be working on a settlement to avoid litigation, contends Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. And whether McCloughan will land another job in the league is unknown, but it doesn’t seem a return to Seattle, where he worked from 2010-13, is going to happen.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Prez Bruce Allen On McCloughan

With one month to go until the NFL Draft, the Redskins are without a general manager and they will wait until after the draft’s conclusion to fill the vacancy. After a drama-filled offseason which saw Scot McCloughan ousted for alleged issues with alcohol, team president Bruce Allen spoke publicly for the very first time this week when he sat down with Liz Clarke of The Washington Post. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from their chat:

On firing McCloughan:

I thought it was the right thing to do for where we were at the time. We wanted to give clarity to our free agents and to our staff of where we were going. For Scot, it was good timing because it allows him to be hired by anyone right now before this draft…I enjoyed working with [Scot’s father and brother] and the success we had in Oakland. Obviously that’s what I envisioned when I brought Scot to the Redskins. So, yes, I’m disappointed it didn’t work out. I hope it works out for him in the future. My responsibility is to the Redskins and the organization and the scouts and the players on this team.

[RELATED: Redskins Sign WR Brian Quick]

On reports that McCloughan’s dismissal was driven by the jealousy of Allen and others in the organization:

Scot and I had a wonderful relationship. I do like him as a person. And I wanted him to do great. And it just didn’t work out.

On Daniel Snyder’s decision to give an extension to coach Jay Gruden:

[Gruden] has established himself as a good leader for our team. Our players have responded well to him. His honesty and his directness and his sense of humor have taken us through some speed bumps in the season. His ability to creatively come up with new ways to attack a defense is something that we’re very fortunate to have.

Redskins, McCloughan Likely To Part Ways

It sure sounds like Scot McCloughan will be ousted in D.C. The Redskins have been “entertaining” new general manager options for “quite some time,” numerous league sources tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Apparently, the team has internally discussed names and La Canfora writes says they have “essentially have begun the process.” Unsurprisingly, then, a parting of ways is “inevitable” – perhaps in the form of a buyout – multiple sources tell Mike Jones of the Washington Post.Scot McCloughan (vertical)

If team president Bruce Allen looks for a successor to McCloughan, one name that has surfaced is former Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik, who has a history with Allen. La Canfora also suggests a possible promotion for executive Alex Santos, though the team has never promoted from within to fill the GM role, while Jones adds that ex-Redskins quarterback Doug Williams and former Chargers GM A.J. Smith are possibilities.

As for McCloughan himself, La Canfora hears the GM is not in rehab (he has dealt with alcohol-related issues) and has not been in rehab during his hiatus from the team. However, he has not stopped drinking since joining the Redskins in 2015, per Jones, who writes that McCloughan’s peers don’t believe that has negatively affected his work. McCloughan and Allen have been at loggerheads over several matters, details Jones, and it looks as if their inability to coexist will lead to a divorce.

Reportedly, the chaos in Washington is making the representatives of free agents question the team’s stability.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Payton, Rams, Gruden

Despite rumors to the contrary, one source tells ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett there is no indication the Saints are more willing to part ways with Sean Payton now than they were in the past. That same source also refuted the notion that morale is low in New Orleans because of speculation over Payton’s future. Regardless, you can expect the Payton buzz to continue for a while. There’s now talk that Payton has “sincere interest” in the Rams’ opening.

Here’s a roundup of the latest coaching rumors:

  • Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter are two to watch in the Rams‘ coaching search, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News tweets.
  • There are reasons why Jon Gruden does and doesn’t make sense for the Rams, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Gruden has star power, offensive know-how, and relationships with both COO Kevin Demoff and Washington exec Bruce Allen, who could be a GM candidate for the team. He could also help the team attract Raiders fans in the area. Conversely, one could argue that Gruden was overrated as a coach since he won a Super Bowl with a defense built by Tony Dungy and run the highly-respected Monte Kiffin. Gruden also doesn’t have a rep as a player-friendly coach.
  • Panthers coach Ron Rivera has been mentioned as a possibility for the Rams‘ job, but his agent tells Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer there hasn’t been any contact between Rivera and Los Angeles. “There hasn’t been any contact,” agent Frank Bauer said. “Ron’s super happy where he’s at.” Of course, that doesn’t mean a whole lot. The Rams could still wait until after the season to reach out to Rivera and, even if they have already, his agent would never publicly confirm an act of tampering. If there is mutual interest between the Rams and Rivera this spring, L.A. would still have to negotiate a trade with the Panthers.
  • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh won’t be returning to the NFL in 2017, but he could eventually be back, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (link via PFT). If and when he goes back to the NFL, Rapoport says he could be a match for the Bears. Meanwhile, some league insiders have speculated to PFT that Harbaugh could eventually coach the Colts, reuniting him with Andrew Luck.

Organization May Side With Robert Griffin III

The rift between Washington head coach Jay Gruden and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III has been widely reported on. Since Gruden benched Griffin in favor of Colt McCoy, speculation about the former first-round pick’s future has taken him down many paths.

If the choice is left to Gruden, Griffin may very well be on his way out in Washington. Lucky for Griffin, it may not be Gruden’s choice. The leaders in the organization including owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen may be leaning to towards siding with Griffin over Gruden, given the choice, writes Jason Reid of the Washington Post.

The leadership group has not given up on their young quarterback, but Gruden seems to be committed to moving on from the embattled 24-year old passer. In Reid’s report, he writes that if Allen and Snyder decide the team will continue with Griffin as the starter, that Gruden could be fired after one year. That would leave the team responsible for the final four years of his five-year guaranteed deal, on top of hiring a new coach and starting over again 2015.

Allen is in a tough position with this decision, as he was the general manager to oversee both the trade to acquire Griffin in 2012. On the other hand, Allen also hired Gruden, and in a way, his legacy with Washington is tied to the success of both. Firing Gruden after one year would reflect poorly on him, but trading Griffin for pennies after giving up so much to move up and take him three years ago would be damning as well. Of course, the best way for Allen to protect his job is if either way, the decision he has to make this offseason lead to a winning season in 2015 and going forward.

Extra Points: Lions, Saints, Panthers, Redskins

Let’s take a look at some leftover notes on this Saturday evening…

  • Even though the Lions re-signed Brandon Pettigrew and drafted Eric Ebron, incumbent tight end Joseph Fauria is confident there will be enough targets and snaps to go around. We’re all going to complement each other,” Fauria said (via Justin Rogers of MLive.com). “There’s a bunch of pieces to the pie. Maybe one week one guy will have a big game with a lot of catches, and the next weekend, it will be a different guy. It’s an interesting situation in this offense and it will be awesome to see how it plays out.”
  • 56 of the 90 players on the Saints roster are between 23 and 27-years-old, and Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com writes that the team is full of breakout candidates.
  • Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer suggests that the Panthers pursue a free-agent wide receiver instead of sticking with Tiquan Underwood or Marvin McNutt.
  • Redskins president Bruce Allen noted some differences under new coach Jay Gruden. “It’s a different style,” Allen said (via John Keim of ESPN.com). “Each coach and each team takes on the personality of its coach and Jay has been very involved with the guys. His evening meetings really set the tone for the next day’s work.”