Bruce Allen

Owners Not Expected To Address Dan Snyder’s Ownership Status At Meetings

As the NFL and House Oversight Committee’s separate investigations into Dan Snyder and his franchise’s workplace conduct persist, the subject of the longtime Washington owner’s potential ouster continues to come up.

A “growing consensus” exists in some ownership circles that removing Snyder from his post would be the best course of action for the NFL, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. This consensus has certainly formed among NFL followers and many fans of Snyder’s franchise, but the embattled leader’s fellow owners are the only figures who count here. Twenty-four votes are necessary for this monumental step to take place.

This follows a Washington Post report that indicated some owners are warming to the idea of forcing Snyder to sell his franchise, but reaching the 24-vote threshold is another matter entirely. But that historic prospect has moved closer to the NFL radar than it was a year ago, Florio adds. And, as this once-unthinkable scenario gains steam, Snyder is going on the offensive.

Many owners would like to see Snyder out, according to ESPN.com’s Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham and Tisha Thompson, but the 57-year-old Commanders owner is believed to have hired firms to investigate other owners and Roger Goodell for the purposes of gathering dirt — in the event a vote becomes a genuine possibility.

Snyder has authorized investigations of “at least six” owners, per ESPN.com, including Jerry Jones, who has been a longtime defender of his fellow NFC East owner. Furthermore, Snyder has reached out to Jones for support in recent weeks — in an effort to prevent the owners from removing him — only the Cowboys owner has distanced himself from his peer. Snyder has “lost Jerry,” an executive told ESPN.com, and this explosive report indicates the Dallas owner has said he is not sure he can protect Snyder any longer. Investigations of this sort are not new for Snyder, who was believed to have conducted shadow investigations on former employees.

As of now, the owners are not planning to formally discuss the Snyder matter. The next round of owners’ meetings — set for next week in New York — does not have a Snyder item on the docket, Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reports (on Twitter). While that obviously does not stop owners from addressing the Snyder situation privately, they are not preparing any votes yet. Part of the reason no vote is imminent: removing one owner opens the door to a future in which this drastic step could be taken against another, Armando Salguero of Outkick notes.

Counting Snyder scandals is difficult at this point. The one that produced the current circumstances came in 2021, when an NFL investigation into Washington’s workplace culture led to Snyder being fined $10MM and ceding day-to-day control of his franchise to his wife Tanya. Despite last year’s development being aimed at leading Snyder away from the team — a de facto suspension — Snyder denied he was suspended and has been around the team at points during his ensuing controversies.

The NFL changed course on a plan to have that investigation produce a written report, leading to the Oversight Committee’s probe and the biggest set of problems to hit Snyder during his ownership tenure. Snyder recently attempted to again shift blame to former team president Bruce Allen, via an attorney letter to Committee chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, according to the Washington Post’s Liz Clarke, Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala. The Committee deemed Snyder’s previous attempts to paint Allen as the architect of a toxic workplace culture, partially by citing Allen’s emails that ended up leading to Jon Gruden‘s Raiders exit, as scapegoating.

The Commanders denied the accuracy of ESPN’s report, one that also invited questions about team president Jason Wright‘s true authority to go about repairing the team’s culture. The Commanders’ statement (via The Athletic’s Ben Standig, on Twitter) called the report a “two-year misinformation campaign to coerce the sale of the team.” Snyder will not accept being forced to sell, according to the report. The Snyder situation may look a bit different after recent NBA developments. After a lengthy investigation into Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver led to his suspension; Sarver has begun the process of selling his teams.

Washington, which made five Super Bowl appearances during a 20-year span from 1972-1991, has seen its status within the NFL nosedive under Snyder. The team has three 10-win seasons since Snyder’s 1999 purchase and has yet to secure back-to-back playoff berths during this period.

House Oversight Committee To Subpoena Commanders Owner Dan Snyder

Although the House Oversight Committee requested testimony from Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell, only the commissioner showed up for the Wednesday hearing. Snyder, via a representative indicating he was scheduled to be out of the country, refused the request.

But the committee plans to go a step further during its investigation into the Commanders. Chairperson Carolyn Maloney said she would issue a subpoena to Snyder for a deposition next week.

Mr. Snyder has not been held accountable,” Maloney said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post (on Twitter). “His refusal to testify sends a clear message that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean with the American people. If the NFL is unwilling or unable to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so.”

This marks one of a few issues the embattled Washington owner faces. The committee accused Snyder of conducting a “shadow investigation” aimed at discrediting former team employees and journalists amid the NFL’s inquiry into allegations of workplace misconduct, according to the Washington Post’s Mark Maske, Liz Clarke and Jhabvala. The league’s investigation wrapped last year, but after the league failed to issue a written report, Congress launched its own investigation into Snyder and the Commanders.

The alleged Snyder-driven counterstrike effort attempted to accuse former team president Bruce Allen of being primarily responsible for the workplace issues that came under scrutiny. Snyder fired Allen after the 2019 season.

Goodell attributed the lack of a written report in Beth Wilkinson’s Washington investigation to select former Washington employees seeking anonymity, but the committee’s findings during its probe revealed the NFL had planned for Wilkinson to issue a report instead of an oral summary. The committee uncovered a document indicating a September 2020 agreement between the NFL and Wilkinson’s firm that a written report — outlining the findings in the league’s inquiry into accusations of Washington workplace misconduct — would be in the cards, per Jhabvala. Goodell has been accused to changing that plan, prompting Congressional involvement.

The NFL’s investigation into Snyder and his franchise did result in the owner ceding day-to-day operations to his wife, Tanya Snyder. Goodell said Wednesday he believes that arrangement is still in place nearly a year later.

Another report, from the Washington Post’s Will Hobson, revealed Dan Snyder settled with a former employee who accused him of sexual assault in 2009. The woman accused Snyder of sexually harassing and assaulting her, leading to a $1.6MM settlement. Snyder has denied the allegations, with a team investigation accusing the alleged victim of an extortion attempt. When asked about that report Wednesday, Goodell said he did not recall if Snyder informed him of the allegation and settlement. Teams are required to inform Goodell of such allegations, per the personal conduct policy (Twitter links via Jhabvala and The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones).

Snyder-centered scandals have engulfed his franchise for years, and though the longtime owner has brought considerable negative PR to the NFL during his tenure, owners were — as of May — not planning a legitimate push to remove him from his post. Owners have, however, begun to grow tired of the constant smoke surrounding Snyder. His deposition before Congress stands to represent an important chapter during his controversial run as an NFL owner.

Extra Points: Cousins, 49ers, USFL, Europe

While Kirk Cousins has been the Vikings’ starter for four years now, his status came up constantly ahead of his 2018 free agency bid. Kyle Shanahan confirmed the 49ers would have been in play for Cousins in 2018 — for what would have been a reunion between he and the QB he coached while Washington’s OC — but San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo extension preempted such a pursuit. Washington’s head coach at the time, however, believes the 49ers would have coughed up a considerable trade package for Cousins prior to October 2017’s Garoppolo trade. Jay Gruden said Washington could have obtained two first-rounders and perhaps two seconds for Cousins ahead of the 2017 deadline, and the then-WFT HC said — during an appearance on the Kevin Sheehan Show, via the Washington Post’s Jake Russell (Twitter links) — Daniel Snyder and Bruce Allen effectively killed such talks due to not wanting to reunite Shanahan and Cousins.

The 49ers gave up only a second-round pick for Garoppolo, though Cousins was a far more established starter at the time. The 49ers were mentioned in trade rumors regarding Cousins ahead of the 2017 draft, prior to his second Washington franchise tag, but Shanahan has only confirmed the team was planning to go after him in free agency. Gruden suggested Washington still had hopes of re-signing Cousins then; the team walled off this path after trading for Alex Smith in January 2018. Washington has long since moved on, firing Gruden during the 2019 season and Allen at its conclusion, though a notable void still exists for the franchise at QB.

Here is more from around pro football:

  • The XFL is not planning to launch its latest reboot until 2023, but another spring football attempt is in the works. Fox Sports is aiming another effort at establishing the United States Football League and has slated the effort for April, Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal reports. The USFL represents the best effort yet of a spring league in America; its ill-fated plan to move to the fall in 1986 led to its demise after three seasons. Fox employees Daryl Johnston and Mike Pereira, along with The Spring League co-founder Brian Woods, are set to be involved with this latest spring effort. Games would be televised primarily on FS1. Details are scarce at this point, but the recent Alliance of American Football and XFL 2.0 forays illustrate the uphill battle spring football presents.
  • The NFL’s push to play a game in Germany is expected to come to fruition by Super Bowl weekend, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting plans for the league’s future in Germany will become clear by February. The league is set to begin playing games in Germany annually either next season or in 2023, depending on COVID-19 restrictions, JLC adds. This would up the total of international games to at least four — two in London, one in Mexico City and one in a to-be-determined German city. With the NFL having sent more than two games to London in several previous seasons, it is possible the number of international games will surpass four.
  • Additional COVID testing is on tap for the post-Thanksgiving week. The league will require masks for all players, regardless of vaccination status, from Nov. 25-Dec. 1 at team facilities, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. All players and staffers will be tested twice the week following Thanksgiving.

NFL: No Other Violations Found In Emails

The NFL’s recent email scandal will end with Jon Gruden, according to a league source who spoke with Barry Wilner of the Associated Press. Gruden, of course, resigned on Monday after his emails made national news.

[RELATED: Fallout From Jon Gruden’s Resignation]

The NFL did not identify any problems anywhere near what you saw with Jon Gruden,” said the AP’s source.

Gruden’s missteps were uncovered as a part of the league’s investigation into the Washington Football Team. Independent investigations have reportedly scoured through 650,000 emails in total, leaving many to wonder whether Gruden was just the tip of the iceberg.

Meanwhile, ex-Washington exec Bruce Allen would be subject to further investigation if he tries to return to the league, per the source. Right now, it’s hard to imagine Allen in a front office position, so that’s pretty much a moot point. The emails he received from pal Jeff Pash — the league’s top lawyer — were deemed “appropriate” and “in a different category” from Gruden.

The NFL has no current plans to release the full ~650K batch of emails, despite NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith‘s repeated requests.

Jay Gruden On Daniel Snyder, Washington Drafts, Coaching Future

Jay Gruden is currently unattached, with the Jaguars hiring Urban Meyer last month. Darrell Bevell is the team’s new offensive coordinator. Gruden, who coached Washington from 2014-19, remains interested in returning to the sidelines.

However, the longtime NFL play-caller does not expect to coach this season. Gruden, 53, said, with staffs having mostly filled up over the past few weeks, he will likely sit out in 2021 before reassessing his options, Ben Standig of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

Gruden made some noise recently when he made a candid remark about Washington owner Daniel Snyder‘s draft involvement. The six-year Washington HC indicated the team’s owner “would come in off his yacht and make the pick” after Washington’s coaching staff and front office prepared for the draft. Gruden expanded on that assessment.

Well, first and foremost, he is the owner. So if he wants to come off his yacht, or if he wants to come off his tennis court, wherever he’s at and make a pick, he has that right,” Gruden said. “(Dan) has the ultimate say, and that’s not going to change until he decides he wants to change.

So I guess he’s given up total responsibility and total power to coach (Ron) Rivera, which is a good thing, I think. But when I was there, that wasn’t the case. He had final say over everything. He and (former team president) Bruce Allen would talk about it, and they would make the decision. I signed up for that. I knew that was the case going in, and that’s just the way it was.”

Like Gruden, Allen is no longer with the franchise. Snyder dismissed the 10-year team president after the 2019 season. But the Snyder-Allen-Gruden power trio was in place for nearly six seasons. The last of those, a 3-13 season that involved Gruden being fired after an 0-5 start, transpired after a controversial draft.

It has been long reported Gruden was against drafting Dwayne Haskins, a Snyder- and Allen-driven move. Gruden said one of the team’s plans involved taking Montez Sweat at No. 15; Washington later traded back into Round 1 and drafted the edge defender at No. 26. Gruden also mentioned being high on safety Darnell Savage, whom the Packers drafted at No. 21 overall.

We knew we needed a quarterback, though. I mean, so at the end of the day, it’s not like Dwayne was not a good prospect. He’s a young football player with a lot of talent. So it’s not the end of the world we took Dwayne,” Gruden said, via Standig. “We just didn’t think we had to take him that high. It’s just what we thought … if we lost Dwayne that there were a couple of other ones later we might be able to get to come in and maybe compete with Case. Plus there was still hope in the back of our minds that Alex would come back.”

Coming off a 50-touchdown pass 2018 season at Ohio State, Haskins was viewed as a surefire first-round pick. The Giants were connected to him at No. 6 overall, though they surprised most by drafting Daniel Jones. Haskins fell to No. 15, becoming the third quarterback off the 2019 board. Some in Washington’s organization were believed to have placed a third-round grade on the quarterback.

Gruden said during the interview Haskins “wasn’t quite ready” when a Case Keenum injury first summoned him into action in Week 4 of the ’19 season. The organization quickly soured on the quarterback, benching him early in the 2020 season and putting him on the trade block. The Rivera-led regime waived Haskins in December of last year.

Snyder overruled Washington football-side brass on other occasions, Gruden said. Washington now has Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney atop running football ops.

For the most part, I’d say 85-90% of the time, we were making pretty much football decisions that were good for the football team, and they were (decisions) that everybody agreed on. … The majority,” Gruden said. “But there were a few picks (during my time) that we had nothing to do with it.”

The currently unattached coach also discussed Kirk Cousins‘ exit. The Allen-led Cousins negotiations led to animosity, two franchise tags and the quarterback’s departure in free agency in 2018. Rather than a trade haul, Washington only received a third-round compensatory pick for its four-year QB starter.

For the most part, I was given every opportunity to succeed there. We just didn’t get it done,” Gruden said. “There are some decisions there that I wish we could have had back. Obviously, we should have gotten more for Kirk Cousins. That’s the biggest thing, that I think we should have got more for Kirk Cousins than a third-round pick.”

Redskins Fire Bruce Allen, Expected To Hire Ron Rivera

The Redskins have fired team president Bruce Allen, the team announced in a statement. Although some recent reports indicated that Allen would remain in the organization in some capacity, perhaps as part of the club’s stadium detail, that is not the case. The Redskins have completely cut ties with him.

Washington is also expected to hire Ron Rivera as its next head coach, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Rivera is meeting with the team today, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, today’s “interview” is expected to be more of a coronation than anything else. Owner Dan Snyder has acted quickly to get the coach he wants before any other interested clubs could get a crack at him, and it looks like he has his man.

Rivera was fired by the Panthers earlier this month, but his strong track record in Carolina immediately catapulted him to the top of the list of head coaching candidates in this year’s cycle. He amassed a 76-63-1 regular season record, a 3-4 playoff record, and, most notably, a Super Bowl appearance. The Panthers did not win it all under Rivera’s watch, but he is highly-regarded and commands respect.

The same cannot be said for Allen. The Redskins went 62-97-1 during his 10-year tenure and qualified for the playoffs just twice in that time. He also became a divisive figure for Washington fans, most of whom are likely glad to see him out of the organization.

With Allen gone, senior VP Eric Schaffer will see his role increase, as Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets. One of the purposes of today’s meeting between Rivera and the team is to ensure that Rivera — who is also expected to have significant say in personnel matters — is comfortable with Schaffer.

Snyder’s statement regarding Allen’s dismissal reads, in part, as follows:

“Like our passionate fan base, I recognize we have not lived up to the high standards set by great Redskins teams, coaches and players who have come before us. As we reevaluate our team leadership, culture and process of winning football games, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead to renew our singular focus and purpose of bringing championship football back to Washington D.C.”

Redskins To Fire Bruce Allen

Bruce Allen may not have the chance to continue into a second decade with the Redskins. The franchise plans to fire its 10th-year football operations boss, J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports. This move has been in the works for a bit now, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Ben Standig of The Athletic writes that Allen may remain with the club as part of its stadium detail.

Dan Snyder has operated independently from his football staff during part of the Redskins’ coaching search, and the longtime owner has done work on GM candidates as well. Allen’s tenure as team president has not brought Washington much success, with this season producing a 3-12 record.

Allen has overseen a somewhat chaotic Redskins decade. From the Robert Griffin III chapter to an ugly divorce with GM Scot McCloughan to Kirk Cousins‘ departure to the Trent Williams fiasco, the franchise has seen its stock plummet during the 2010s. The Redskins are 62-96-1 during Allen’s 10-year tenure — one that has produced two playoff berths and one 10-win season (2012).

The son of former Redskins NFC champion coach George Allen, Bruce came over after a five-year stay with the Buccaneers. Prior to that, he spent nine years in the Raiders’ front office. The Redskins have only employed two full-time coaches under Allen — Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden — but they have gone through several quarterbacks and have only completed back-to-back winning seasons once.

While the Redskins have not been particularly successful throughout Snyder’s 21-year tenure, the owner looks set to commence a full-scale overhaul. Coaches Bill Callahan and Kevin O’Connell have a chance to stay on, potentially with a defensive-minded HC, but it certainly looks like the Redskins will have a new front office structure soon. Former Texans GM Rick Smith and ex-Redskins exec-turned-ESPN analyst Louis Riddick have been mentioned as potential candidates to oversee Washington’s football operations. Current Panthers GM Marty Hurney may also be in play, as Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.

Meanwhile, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network says Redskins senior VP Eric Schaffer, who handles contract negotiations for the team, could see his role increase following Allen’s ouster (Twitter link).

Latest On Redskins’ HC Plans, Front Office

After little emerged on the Redskins front for weeks following Jay Gruden‘s firing, the struggling franchise is dominating the early-weekend news cycle. Bruce Allen‘s role as team president is not safe, with a Black Monday dismissal being considered.

The Redskins are considering firing their 10-year front office czar, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports, adding that Allen may have a chance to remain with the organization in a non-football role. That would be an interesting setup given Allen’s tumultuous tenure in Washington, but Dan Snyder is pondering widespread changes to his football operations department.

Replacement options for Allen include ex-Texans GM Rick Smith and former NFL executive-turned-TV analyst Louis Riddick, La Canfora adds, noting Snyder has done research on a few personnel execs. Smith resigned from his Houston post after the 2017 season but is open to returning to the league. Riddick worked with the Redskins from 2001-07, serving as a scout and pro personnel director. He subsequently held the same role with the Eagles.

As for Washington’s HC opening, Snyder has “strong interest” in Ron Rivera, per JLC. The longtime Redskins owner is also interested in Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, ex-Jets HC and current Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles, longtime Bengals HC Marvin Lewis and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. These are consolation prizes, though, with La Canfora reporting Snyder’s primary hope is to work out a trade for Mike Tomlin. Snyder is not optimistic about such a deal. The prospect of bringing the Virginia native to Washington surfaced two-plus months ago.

The prospect of bringing aboard a defensive coach opens the door to Washington sticking with top offensive incumbents Bill Callahan and Kevin O’Connell. Snyder is high on both his interim HC and first-year OC, according to La Canfora. Callahan expressed interest in staying on, though it’s not known if he would stick around under another head coach, and O’Connell has been the primary Dwayne Haskins developer this season. Snyder was the driving force behind the Redskins’ Haskins pick, overruling Gruden.

Allen has not excelled in Washington, but neither have most of the head coaches under Snyder. The Redskins have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons under the 21st-year owner.

Latest On Redskins’ HC Search, Front Office

Bruce Allen is wrapping up his 10th season in the Redskins’ front office, but Washington’s team president has not been given the lead role in identifying the franchise’s next head coach.

Dan Snyder has been working on the team’s HC situation for several weeks, with Albert Breer of SI.com reporting he’s assembled a group of football people to help on this front. None of those in this committee of sorts are Redskins employees, Breer notes (on Twitter).

The longtime Redskins owner has kept his football staff in the dark on some of the changes he’s mulling, Breer adds, inviting speculation Allen will not be in the team’s future plans. This would undoubtedly please a sizable sect of Washington’s fanbase, but as of now, the veteran exec remains the top cog in Washington’s football operations staff.

Allen has plans of his own on how the franchise should proceed, per John Keim of ESPN.com, who confirms Snyder has left him out of certain parts of this process (Twitter link). A November report indicated Allen’s status for 2020 was uncertain, so these next several days will be critical for the Redskins.

Snyder is believed to be far along in this search, which has yet to produce any known candidates. Though, Breer identifies Ron Rivera as a name to monitor. Interim HC Bill Callahan would like to be considered, but it’s unlikely given Washington’s post-Gruden performance that the team will go with the 63-year-old coach as its next full-time leader.

The Redskins are 62-96-1 during Allen’s tenure, one that has now included three head coaches. Should they lose to the Cowboys on Sunday, they will secure the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Garrett, Redskins

The Cowboys aren’t planning to fire head coach Jason Garrett during the season, but some reports have indicated needs to lead Dallas to a Super Bowl victory in order to keep his job. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has offered his fair share of criticism of Garrett this year, and earlier this week, he made a peculiar comment sure to draw the eye of observers. “In my opinion, Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year,” Jones said this week on 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News). Notably, Jones didn’t say exactly where he thinks Garrett will coaching in 2020.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Don’t expect Trent Williams to mend fences with the Redskins any time soon. Williams, who didn’t play this season while holding out, holds a great deal of animus against the Washington organization for how it handled a cancerous tumor that appeared on his head. “I don’t see how it can be reconciled,” Williams told Les Carpenter of the Washington Post. “At the end of the day I’m a human being, I ain’t like a dog and you can slap s— out of me and I’m going to come back the next morning with my tail wagging. This was a conscious decision, they didn’t burn the bridge by accident. This was something they felt comfortable doing, so I got to feel comfortable with moving on, too.”
  • Most of Williams’ ire is directed towards Redskins president Bruce Allen, per Carpenter. Williams claims Allen ignored calls and texts from Williams and his agent while the club was searching for a helmet that would accommodate Williams’ pain. Williams believes Allen did so that the Redskins can argue Williams still has two years left on his contract, which could raise his trade value this offseason. Allen, for his part, calls the allegations “comical.”
  • Group Giants owner Steve Tisch with those who think Colin Kaepernick‘s workout session in Atlanta last month was botched by the NFL. “I just felt, you know, what happened in Atlanta was unfortunate,” Tisch told Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. “It didn’t seem to be very well organized. And I just, I don’t know how it all sort of fell apart.” Tisch also said he hopes the issue is brought up during next week’s league meetings.