WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of turning to high-profile names — Robert Griffin III, Mike Shanahan, Joe Gibbs and more — to rescue the franchise and turn it into a long-term winner, the Washington Redskins have gone in another direction.
The Redskins on Thursday evening confirmed the hiring of Scot McCloughan as general manager, an anticlimactic announcement after days of negotiations that had put a deal essentially in place by Wednesday afternoon.
McCloughan, who will be introduced at a news conference on Friday, is a former executive with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks and has spent more than two decades in the NFL working either as a scout or in a front office.
He will have authority over the draft and free agency, giving the club a highly respected personnel evaluator in charge and separate from the coach for the first time since Charley Casserly was dismissed in 1999.
McCloughan is credited with helping craft championship-level rosters with the 49ers (2005-09) and Seahawks (2010-13), including the two seasons he served as San Francisco’s GM. He left both teams due to personal reasons and spent last season as a private consultant to NFL teams.
He has no easy task in front of him. The Redskins have finished last in the NFC East in six of the past seven seasons, and poor draft decisions and unwise free agency signings have left the talent pool wanting.
In addition, McCloughan must decide if Griffin — who has been benched twice in two years — truly is the franchise quarterback he appeared to be when he won the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012.
McCloughan will also work with Jay Gruden, who went 4-12 in his first season as an NFL head coach. Gruden is in search of a defensive coordinator after Jim Haslett’s departure last week.
McCloughan takes the job previously held by Bruce Allen, who has been the Redskins’ general manager for the past five seasons and gained final say over roster matters after in-charge-of-everything coach Mike Shanahan was fired a year ago. Allen did not have a strong reputation as a player-personnel manager when he came to Washington, and the team is 28-52 during his five full seasons.
Allen, a close confidant of team owner Dan Snyder, will remain team president, concentrating on business and other off-the-field matters.