First glitch for Washington, McCloughan may have been irrelevant

Getty Images

So where did things go wrong for Washington and G.M. Scot McCloughan?

Albert Breer of points to three incidents. The first of came in 2015, when McCloughan wanted to try to extend the contract of quarterback Kirk Cousins but others in the organization (presumably, team president Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder) resisted.

Presumably, if McCloughan had gotten the green light to try to extend Cousins, the relationship between G.M. and team may have unfolded differently. Or maybe not.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Cousins was determined as the 2015 season approached to not sign a contract extension. Granted, Washington may have made him an offer he couldn’t refuse (especially since he still had a year of injury risk), but chances are that Cousins, who had been benched the prior season for Colt McCoy during Robert Griffin III’s latest multi-month injury, wouldn’t have been offered anything significant.

In hindsight, Washington could have done a much cheaper deal early in the 2015 season. As the year progressed, it necessarily would have become more expensive. By the time the season ended — and Washington realized how quickly it would become very expensive to re-sign Cousins via the dynamics of the franchise tag — the offers were good enough to get Cousins to not force his way toward a $19.95 million salary for 2016.

So whether McCloughan had or hadn’t gotten permission to extend Cousins at the outset of the 2015 season, a deal wouldn’t have been consummated unless Cousins was faced with the kind of financial security he would have been nuts to reject. Washington most likely wouldn’t have done that, which means that the team was destined to be in the same spot it now is, with $19.95 million paid to Cousins for last year, another $23.94 million to be paid this year, and quite possibly a $28.78 million transition tender applied to Cousins in 2018.

17 responses to “First glitch for Washington, McCloughan may have been irrelevant

  1. McCloughan was the best GM in Washington since Bobby Beathard. Allen handled this very poorly. It will not happen, but many in Redskins Nation want Allen fired and Scot rehired.

  2. So every time Snyder and Allen looked at the guy, they were reminded of their own ineptitude. Of course he had to go.

  3. @oswizard, Scot M built the 49ers team that went to the NFC championship game 3 years in a row – he killed it draft after draft. He went to Seattle and drafted Wilson, Sherman, Cam C, etc and built that team. Now Washington was turning around. The guy has an eye for talent and knows how to build a team.

  4. It seems to me that Bruce Allen still wants to be a GM instead of just president of football ops.

  5. When Griffin is re-signed as either a backup or as one of the many ancillary former players who worship at the Snyder shrine in the coming months, it will be even more clear to Washington fans that their owner is an idiot. I’m no Cousins fan, but you could have avoided this whole headache by doing a team deal early when McCloughan came in. Allen and Snyder were too busy playing politics because Griffin got hurt again and was irrelevant as he got shipped out of town to make that happen.

  6. When the owner’s Napoleon Complex is more important than the success of the team.

    Lolz poor Redskins fans

  7. What you are forgetting is that Cousins was benched the year before for underperforming… can you blame Danny Boy and Bruce for not wanting to sign him to a long term deal when Cousins, by all accounts (in 2014) had yet to prove that he was a solid starter?

  8. Bruce Allen is not perfect, but I can tell you certain truths about the man that just do not comport with the narrative PFT is selling.

    First, Bruce values loyalty above all else. He would not bring in Scot McCloughan–whom Bruce has shared a close relationship for decades–and then throw him under the bus. It is equally unlikely that he would use McCloughan’s battles with alcoholism as leverage to get McCloughan out (trust me, Bruce has had dirt on many people in the NFL and has NEVER used any of it despite the urging of many in his inner circle). Third, Bruce has always known of McCloughan’s talent, he simply was not able to lure McCloughan from the West Coast previously. Allen gave McCloughan his “comeback” opportunity in the NFL.

    Alcoholism is a vile disease and it can destroy lives. If you are wondering how the team let McCloughan’s issues get so out of control in the media, well, then be thankful you’ve never had to try to care for someone battling an alcohol addiction.


  9. “First, Bruce values loyalty above all else. He would not bring in Scot McCloughan–whom Bruce has shared a close relationship for decades–and then throw him under the bus.”

    Care to explain then why the Redskins never countered Cooley’s drinking comments? Or what about the anonymous front office sources who claim he was drunk repeatedly in the locker room despite no players or coaches saying they ever witnessed that? If that wasn’t throwing him under the bus, what was it exactly? Snyder and Allen are vile people who’d stab their own grandmothers in the back out of spite.

  10. bythebay15 ,

    Washington front office sending out the interns to write comments. Some of us remember Allen from his Raider days and his Tampa days. He’s a former sports agent for context of who we’re talking about who worked in the Al Davis front office, the precursor to what’s going on in Washington. Al was charming and actually knew something about football. The fact that Snyder just celebrated his first back-to-back winning seasons ever as owner over 20 years and fired the guy responsible for that roster should tell you all you need to know. He’s also a huge politician who shares that personality trait with his brother who is the former governor and Senator from Virginia. So yeah, backstabbing is human nature for him as he politics for whoever can get him ahead: Al Davis, Jon Gruden and the Glazers, and now it’s Snyder.

  11. oswizard says:
    Mar 16, 2017 11:28 AM

    McCloughan was the best GM in Washington since Bobby Beathard. Allen handled this very poorly. It will not happen, but many in Redskins Nation want Allen fired and Scot rehired.
    Think that’s a typo buddy. You said “many”, but I’m pretty you meant “everybody”. That said, Snyder and Allen hold petty grudges like teenage girls and it will never, ever happen.

  12. Actually, the first “glitch” for the Redskins happened in May 1999.

    Jack Kent Cooke did many great things for the Skins, but structuring his estate to essentially deny ownership to his son has led to what we’ve endured for the past 18 years. Perhaps John Kent Cooke wouldn’t have been a great owner like his father, but he could hardly have been worse than Little Danny. My spaniel is a better judge of people than he is.

  13. Franchises with a tradition of winning never have articles like this published. On one hand a winning franchise will maintain control and keep issues in house, on the other hand a some reporters like Florio and Breer wont say anything negative about about them because they wont put there own credibility on the line.

  14. They didn’t have a reason to offer Cousins a contract extension early in 2015 considering his poor performance the previous season. When he started to have some success that season I’m assuming he would have wanted more than he was worth just like he does now. This was a no-win situation for the team from the get-go. Cousins is a flawed player who looks great when the pressure is off and bad when it’s on. I would trade him if possible. If not, he’ll walk and be someone else’s problem. Any team that signs him is going to have a huge chunk of their cap space compromised for a guy who has yet to prove he can win the big one against a good team.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!