The top of the organization in Washington is getting a little crowded.
Owner Daniel Snyder has added league office executive Brian LaFemina as COO and President of Business Operations. In that role, LaFemina will oversee all club business operations and report directly to Snyder.
“I am thrilled to welcome Brian to the Washington Redskins,” Snyder said in a team-issued statement. “Brian has been one of the most highly regarded NFL executives amongst league ownership for many years because of his deep understanding of our business, his focus on partner relationships and his genuine belief that fans must be at the center of every decision we make. Brian is coming to Washington with fresh thinking and big ideas to implement, and I have full confidence that with Brian’s addition and with Bruce Allen continuing as team President, the Redskins’ success will continue to grow, both on and off the field.”
LaFemina said in the same press release that Snyder approached LaFemina “about a year ago” to discuss the possibility of hiring him.
“Working with Dan and Bruce to develop a new, dynamic stadium that matches the vibrancy of this organization and its fan base will be an exciting challenge and one of our top priorities,” LaFemina said.
The fact that LaFemina will report directly to Snyder (and that the press release contains no quote from Allen) suggests that Allen at a minimum has been undermined by the move, and at most could be on the way out. Indeed, if Allen were getting done everything he needs to get done, as the president of the team, there would be no need to hire a President of Business Operations/COO who reports directly to Snyder.
The fact that the discussions with LaFemina began roughly a year ago hints that Snyder possibly began looking for someone to do many of the things Allen was doing at roughly the same time as Allen clumsily fired G.M. Scot McCloughan and took plenty of flak from fans and the media for chasing a successful football executive from the organization on dubious grounds, at best.
Thus, the move will serve only to fuel speculation that Allen will indeed be leaving, possibly for the Raiders. (Allen has denied that he’s returning to Oakland.) At the time Russ Brandon abruptly resigned from the Bills, some in league circles said that there had been rumors that Snyder was trying to lure Brandon from Buffalo.
Regardless, there’s now a new high-level executive in Washington whose job duties seem to immediately overlap with Allen’s. If the organizational chart isn’t big enough for both of them, Allen indeed could be leaving, either voluntary or otherwise.