The Redskins don’t intend to hire a general manager until after the NFL Draft in April. That’s been the plan since the team hired new head coach Ron Rivera last week.
Multiple sources explained that Rivera and team owner Dan Snyder don’t want to disrupt the draft preparation that is already well underway, not to mention Rivera likes the look of the Redskins last three draft classes. He explained that during his introductory press conference last week.
“All of our personnel people are very vital to our success because of the things they’ve done in the last three drafts,” Rivera said. “That was one of the things also Mr. Snyder asked me to do is study those three drafts and look at the guys that are on the roster and I did that.”
That’s good news for the Redskins current front office.
The team fired Bruce Allen last week, and that move was needed and past due. The rest of the front office, however, has strong reputations in the NFL.
Eric Schaffer is a respected contract negotiator with good relationships with agents. Doug Williams is a team legend and can point to his successful move bringing in Adrian Peterson in 2018. Alex Santos has proven the ability to find valuable veterans like Donald Penn and Ereck Flowers and keep the Redskins afloat as injuries have nearly destroyed the team in the past few seasons. Kyle Smith might be the brightest star as the architect of the last three drafts.
There has already been a report that Schaffer will be gone from the organization after his contract expires in May, and it’s entirely possible the Redskins promote Smith or Santos to bigger positions after the draft. Williams too.
Much will be determined in the next four months. Smith gets to run another draft, Santos gets to run another free agency. Rivera has made clear he wants a “collaborative” approach and has met with all of the current front office members.
It’s also entirely possible Rivera hires somebody from out of the organization that meshes with his vision to run the team going forward.
One league source said to keep an eye on Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen. Rivera has close ties to Buffalo GM Brandon Beane, and Schoen has been his top lieutenant since 2017. Schoen has scouting experience and ties to Carolina as well. He worked in Miami before he made the move to Buffalo.
CBS reported that the Redskins could pursue a reunion with Morocco Brown. He has experience in the Redskins front office, has a strong performance record now in Indianapolis, and has ties to Rivera from the Bears. Brown could be a slam dunk, particularly considering he has strong relationships with Snyder and Joe Gibbs, something that is very much an asset.
There has also been plenty of speculation around Vikings executive vice president and general manager Rick Spielman being a possible Rivera front office target. The two have a long-standing relationship and Spielman’s time with the Vikings has been largely successful. That speculation took a hit this week as Vikings ownership came out and said that both Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer will continue in their roles in Minnesota for the future.
Vikings ownership just issued a statement on GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer:
“We value Mike and Rick’s leadership and we have every intent of Mike continuing as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Rick leading our football operations, next year and beyond.”
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) January 3, 2020
It’s good that Vikings ownership intends to keep Spielman, but intent can change.
For Redskins fans concerned by the delay in major changes, don’t be.
The NFL operates on almost two distinct calendars. For players and coaches, things revolve around the season. For the front office, the draft is always the conclusion of the year. This is normal. It’s not worth disrupting a large group of people that are already well into their work cycle. It would be like firing a group of accountants in early March knowing the tax deadline comes April 15th.
One thing is clear: Don’t expect any changes with the Redskins power structure until after the draft. Rivera will fill out his coaching staff, and that could be completed by the end of the week. Beyond that, the folks inside the building get to keep working and try to impress the new boss. Those outside the building are doing the same thing, just with a different address.
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