With the season ending Giants loss now pretty much edited from memory and the Pats SB triumph signalling a reset to 0-0 for all NFL teams, our Redskins blogger Christian Burt goes Skin Deep for the first time this off-season – and once again, Washington cannot escape drama…
The last few days have reached a fever pitch of noise that is insane even for this all too often unfathomable DC franchise. Is this the big story of Kirk Cousins being exclusively tagged you ask? Well, no it isn’t – instead all focus is on General Manager (or edit: Chief Talent Evaluator) Scot McCloughan.
For many, Scot is pretty much seen as a saviour figure for a franchise that has repeatedly raised, and subsequently, almost immediately erased, hopes of a return to the dizzy heights of those three Superbowl rings. Hell, you know you are in the Land of the Insane when Redskins fans are ACTIVELY undertaking a Google search to confirm the deceased date of the GMs Grandmother.
Perhaps the real fear of Washington fans isn’t the unknown future of if or when McCloughan walks or is dismissed – that happened at the far more stable franchise of the Seattle Seahawks too. It’s the fear of the known. And the known in this case is public enemy #1 (PE#1) owner Dan Snyder, and to a lesser, but still significant extent President Bruce Allen.
Allen arguably had a better draft in 2014 than McCloughan’s classes of 2015 and 2016; Trent Murphy, Spencer Long and Morgan Moses all appear to be on the upward curve, with another draftee CB Bashaud Breeland dipping slightly in 2016, but with justified hopes for a better 2017.
However, this is also the Bruce Allen who traded picks for a past-it Donovan McNabb and, who set the Redskins back significantly in 2012 and 2013 when penalised for “creative” cap space methodology. Aligned with his perceived closeness to the PE#1, Allen is not a favourite of those who follow the burgundy & gold – although, hey, he did bring back the gold pants of the 1970s.
Going against the grain here perhaps, but I’m not particularly anti-Bruce Allen. Bad interpersonal relationships may have blighted the Redskins, but I feel uneasy jumping on the popular bandwagon of #firebruceallen and it was, lest we forget, Bruce who hired Scot in the first place.
For me, the Redskins, with or without McCloughan, are back on the right path overall. In 2017 there is a stockpile of draft picks, and cap to get things done without the need to be creative and incur $36 million dollar salary cap penalties. The roster has some huge FA decisions to make around Cousins, Pierre Garcon and speedster DeSean Jackson; I’m sensing a huge contract for KC and retention of just one of the WRs – my preference is Garcon, but you could argue #88 has skills that can be easier replicated than Jackson.
I’m not going to speculate on McCloughan and his demons, these are well documented elsewhere, but if the Redskins are losing a talent evaluator and a top one in the NFL; it’s a blow, but not a knockout one.
My message to the Redskins Front Office: get boring this off season and do it quickly. Sign Cousins to a LTD – you’ll be more screwed not doing this even if you do pay over the odds. Then go for DL additions in the Draft, at least 1-2 high ranked interior D-Lineman in FA and probably re-sign Hall at SS if he recovers from injury and the cap isn’t there.
The foundations are not caving in; this is still a productive roster bar the DL, so let’s get real dull and let’s get focused on football matters.