Any hope of an amicable divorce between the Washington Redskins and former general manager Scot McCloughan could have been shattered on Thursday.
McCloughan hasn’t commented publicly since being fired by the Redskins, but he broke his silence on Wednesday to friend and NFL Network analyst Michael Robinson, a former fullback with Seattle Seahawks who was signed by McCloughan.
Robinson relayed the details of the conversation on Thursday morning on “The Wes McElroy Show” on Fox Sports 910, saying that McCloughan felt his firing from the Redskins was “a pride thing” on the part of team president Bruce Allen.
“He 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 said on McElroy’s show. “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.'”
The Redskins fired McCloughan exactly three weeks ago. At the time, an anonymous team official told the Washington Post that the firing was the result of McCloughan’s struggles with alcohol.
Robinson said in his conversation, McCloughan told him that wasn’t the reason.
“He said, ‘Mike, I don’t have an issue right now drinking,'” Robinson said. “‘I haven’t touched a drink in a while. But of course they wouldn’t let me say it because they silenced me.'”
In his conversation with the Washington Post at the NFL league meeting in Phoenix this week, Allen declined to speak in depth on McCloughan’s firing, but said it was important for the organization to move on.
“I thought it was the right thing to do for where we were at the time,” Allen said. “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.
“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.”
In the interview, Robinson also addressed a report that Allen was angry at McCloughan for talking to a player after a rough practice.
“He also spoke about the time when the cornerback walked off the field and he told him to meet him in his office, and he was wondering why the (heck) did Mr. Allen get so (ticked off) about that?” Robinson said. “I’m just talking to a player. It’s all about relationships.
“He also talked to me about how he wanted to get Kirk Cousins signed, because he knew the longer you wait, this guy’s going to break the bank. And also the longer you wait, he may not want to come back. He may not want to come back, because you know what I mean, you’ve been negotiating for so long.
“The guy really has an eye for talent that not many people are born with, Wes.”
Cousins is on a one-year, franchise tag contract at the moment. Allen said earlier this week the team is interested in reaching a long-term agreement with the quarterback.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden was asked by reporters at the league meetings in Phoenix earlier this week if the decision to fire McCloughan had to be made.
“I’m not going to say it had to be made,” Gruden said. “It was made. That’s all I can live with. When decisions are made of that magnitude in the organization, you think about it, you reflect on the good things that you learned from Scot, and the good things he did for the team. But at the end of the day, it’s about moving forward in a positive way, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
McCloughan was fired with several million dollars remaining on his contract. If the Redskins fired McClougan “with cause,” as has been reported, McCloughan would likely have to go to arbitration to recover the money he is owed.