Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen addressed the firing of Scot McCloughan for the first time since the move was made March 9, the first day of the league year. McCloughan was fired after two years with the Redskins.
“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.”
Allen acknowledged personal disappointment over the failed relationship, noting his respect for McCloughan’s ability and his own working relationship with McCloughan’s father and brother, both scouts, while with the Oakland Raiders.
“I enjoyed working with them and the success we had in Oakland. Obviously that’s what I envisioned when I brought Scot to the Redskins,” Allen said of his hand-picked general manager. “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.”
Allen wouldn’t comment on the detailed account of a Redskins official that McCloughan’s alcohol dependency impaired his performance.
“It’s just not the Scot situation; I wouldn’t talk about private conversations I’ve had with anyone,” Allen said. “Our team is a family.”
Allen denied the firing had anything to do with a power struggle.
“I’ve heard all this different speculation,” Allen said. “That’s ridiculous. Scot and I have had conversations [before the firing]. We’re on the same page.
“There’s a personal side in that I brought him to the Redskins and hoped for, obviously, not just a different outcome but a better situation for him and for the Redskins. Yeah, that hurts. I do wish him the best. I like Scot. It feels like our friendship obviously will be strained.”
Allen declined to explain why he made the move. The Washington Post quoted an anonymous team official who pointed to issues with McCloughan’s drinking. Allen said he “has never partaken” in being quoted anonymously. He also pointed out his relationship with McCloughan’s brother and father.
“I had hoped it would work out better than it did,” Allen said. “I’m not going to discuss what I talked to Scot [about] in personal conversations. It didn’t work out.”
Allen said the Redskins won’t hire anyone to replace McCloughan until after next month’s draft. And he still isn’t sure whether the replacement will come from within the organization — or what the exact role will be. The Redskins have several in-house candidates who are possibilities: personnel executive Doug Williams, director of pro personnel Alex Santos, director of college scouting Scott Campbell and chief negotiator Eric Schaffer.
Allen said Campbell has been the Redskins’ point person for the draft from the start of the college all-star games and through the scouting combine earlier this month.
“I think we will be adding someone,” Allen said. “After the draft, we’ll decide … if we need a person or two.”
Allen disputed that the Redskins are a team in chaos.
“Our staff handled free agency extremely well,” Allen said. “It was organized. We were able to target certain players the coaches wanted and we were able to get them.”
The Redskins signed receiver Terrelle Pryor, safety D.J. Swearinger, and defensive linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee early in free agency. They also re-signed tight end Vernon Davis and recently signed linebacker Chris Carter and receiver Brian Quick.
One topic for the new person and/or those who remain will be the contract status of quarterback Kirk Cousins. One source said no new offers have been in the past month, and the latest offer of approximately $20 million per year did not come close to getting a deal done. Allen said the team would not trade Cousins.
Allen said he remains optimistic that Cousins will play in Washington long term.
“I’ve had a number of talks with Kirk this offseason, not specifically with his contract, but what his hopes are, his dreams,” Allen said. “Our goal is the same. We want to sign him to a long-term contract. We have him under contract this year and we have an option on it next year, the way the rules work.”
Cousins, as of now, would play the 2017 season under the franchise tag of $23.94 million. The Redskins could place the franchise tag on him for a third season at approximately $34