The Washington Redskins today, January 7, 2015, hired Scot McCloughan as their new General Manager. McCloughan is known around the National Football League as one of the best talent scouts. He has previously worked as a GM for the San Francisco 49ers where he started as a talent scout. McCloughan also has two stints with the Seattle Seahawks, most recently as their senior personnel executive where he assisted in bringing in a large portion of Seattle’s 2013 Super Bowl roster.
The move came as a shock to many for a number of reasons. Firstly, Dan Snyder has not shown a tendency to get a personnel guy to be the GM of his franchise in the past, recently sticking with now team President Bruce Allen, and before that a lesser talent evaluator in Vinny Cerrato. While Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan had a fair amount of power in the personnel department, both worked alongside Cerrato and Allen, respectively.
Secondly, McCloughan was not only reported to have been asking for a job, but a lot of power, such as the ability to select his own coaches and choose the personnel. While it is unclear for many whether McCloughan can select a strong coaching staff, what is clear is that he is capable of building a talented roster, particularly through the NFL Draft.
The Redskins have been very underwhelming in finding talent through the draft for nearly 20 years. The team also within the past week granted former San Diego Chargers GM A.J. Smith more power in the personnel department, making McCloughan’s hire even more shocking. While I have expressed many times why I feel A.J. Smith is a good eye for talent, I have also stated I am disgusted by his handling of his own veterans and pending free agents. McCloughan may be the necessary filter between A.J. Smith’s desires to let players walk before their prime.
The hire makes Bruce Allen the team’s new President, which will allow him to be a politician in public, but he will also remain in strength in structuring contracts. All capgate jokes aside, Allen is regarded as good as any at putting together contracts which favor the organization financially. Being able to use this on players McCloughan grabs would be an ideal situation, one outlined numerous times by many reporters and fans as the ideal solution to a number of problems.
McCloughan has recently been out of football, but maintained his own private scouting service, assuredly staying as close to the game as he always was, just without the official job title within an organization. McCloughan had stepped down from the Seahawks, citing personal issues. A brilliant inside look into these issues, the man, and his brilliant football mind, are highlighted in an article from ESPN The Magazine’s SethWickersham.
McCloughan is directly responsible for the 49ers and Seahawks acquiring All Pro players during his tenures. Some notable names linked to McCloughan are Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, Richard Sherman, and Russell Wilson, among many others.
Needless to say, this is exactly the kind of change the Washington Redskins have needed.