Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Something Very Weird Is Going On With The Skins

Scot McCloughan, left, and Jay Gruden, right. Photo: Nick Wass/AP Images.

This is weird even for Washington, where weirdness is the natural order of things.

General manager Scot McCloughan is not at the NFL Combine, which begins tomorrow, and he confirmed he will not be attending. That’s especially odd given that McCloughan’s skill lies in talent evaluation, and in the division of Skins front-office responsibilities, scouting and the draft are typically his domain.


When McCloughan’s absence became know, both he and the team attributed it to a personal matter.

It’s notable that only McCloughan cited a death in the family, while the Skins kept it ambiguous. It’s even more notable that the death was apparently McCloughan’s 100-year-old grandmother, whose passing was not a surprise to the family. Marie McCloughan passed away on Feb. 6; according to her obituary, funeral services were held Feb. 13.


An NFL GM is missing the biggest scouting opportunity of the league year nearly three weeks after his elderly grandmother was buried. If it feels shitty to speculate, there’s a whole lot more smoke here.

Chris Russell, a radio host on 106.7 The Fan, reported last night that McCloughan appears to have been pushed out.

“McCloughan was sent home from Redskins Park on February 20th and told not to return until the Redskins called him back.

The source said “Bruce [Allen], Jay [Gruden], [Alex] Santos and Doug [Williams] [are] running Redskins.”

The source added “GM [Scot McCloughan] has nothing to do with anything and has not for very long time.”


McCloughan denied this:


Even more confusingly, the Sports Junkies, another show on 106.7 The Fan, said this morning they were prepared to report earlier this week that McCloughan would miss the combine, but didn’t because McCloughan flatly denied it.

All of this comes against the backdrop of increasing whispers of a power struggle between McCloughan and team president Bruce Allen.


Last week, official-unofficial team mouthpiece Chris Cooley, speaking on a Dan Snyder-owned radio station, speculated that McCloughan, a recovering alcoholic, might be drinking again. No one from the Skins admonished Cooley, leading to informed speculation that the talking point was either planted via Cooley, or it was a deliberate silence meant to hang McCloughan out to dry.


The truth, as always with this goddamn team, remains unclear. The only thing certain is that they will handle, communicate, and resolve this situation in the worst possible way.

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