The Skins organization has been chaotic in the last week, even for them. General Manager Scot McCloughan did not travel with the team’s administration to Indianapolis for the Combine. While it sounds coldhearted to say this, nobody observing the situation believes that the stated reason — the death of his 100-year-old grandmother, over three weeks before the Combine — is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (More on that in a minute.)
Seemingly out of nowhere, the team gave Jay Gruden a two-year extension, which was negotiated at an Indy steakhouse and bar and announced very late at night. What was with that timing?
“The week was bad for the Redskins,” Washington Post reporter Mike Jones said this morning on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies program (audio above). “They were taking hits left and right from a PR standpoint. Everyone in the league was talking about them. You go in Prime 47 late at night and people from other teams — not reporters — would see me and be like, ‘What’s going on with Washington?’ Everybody was wondering what the heck was the deal. You even had agents saying that they didn’t know if they wanted to send their guys there. Agents who met with the Redskins about re-signing, saying, like, ‘Who’s in charge there?'”
Jones continued: “Ultimately, [team president] Bruce [Allen] was kind of like, ‘Alright, we gotta do something, because my fake Ian Rapoport Redskins 3-way trade thing didn’t work to change the story…”
On McCloughan, Jones answered a comment that it doesn’t seem like the general manager will ever get back into the fold with the team by saying, “And that’s the sad thing, because Scot is such a good dude. Loves football. Eats, drinks, sleeps it. You talk to guys who’ve worked with him in the league, and all he does is watch football and unfortunately drink. There’s frictions that are going on there between him and [Bruce] Allen — which we still don’t know the whole story of what happened there, some type of blowup — this thing is headed toward a divorce.”
Addressing the situation with Bomani Jones last week, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter gave a vague hint:
On DC’s Daniel Snyder-owned sports station last month, former Skins tight end Chris Cooley speculated aloud that McCloughan’s past issues with alcoholism had reared their head. He was never publicly admonished by Snyder or the Skins for these remarks.
It is presumable that more information will trickle out as we approach what appears to be McCloughan’s inevitable exit from the team. Whatever happens, it is a relatively sure bet that the Skins organization will handle communications in a manner that lacks tact.