The days, weeks, and months are adding up of silence from Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan. News broke out last week the team did not allow him to speak to the media at the Senior Bowl. Now Mike Jones of the Washington Post, who initially broke the news about McCloughan’s silence in Mobile, is reporting the restriction applied to more than just the Senior Bowl.
Why would the Redskins keep McCloughan silent? Speculation is they want him and scouting department to focus on off-season. The Redskins have numerous pending free agents, including starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. In addition, they have gaping holes through the roster that need to be filled and upgraded.
Yet, it’s still baffling that the GM of a NFL team in the height of off-season is so silent and so restricted from speaking to the media. Yours truly, added the notion the Redskins’ brass does not want McCloughan to open about Cousins, their main priority. The team placed the franchise tag on Cousins in 2016, in large due to doubts within the organization about him being the franchise quarterback long term. All he did was have another franchise-record breaking season.
Perception among many fans and analysts is McCloughan is Cousins’ biggest doubter. Then again, it was largely perceived McCloughan was the man in charge. However, Jones’ reports have now underlined that it’s team president and Dan Snyder’s yes man, Bruce Allen, who still possesses the power within Redskins Park. Allen has already spoken out about what direction he believes the Cousins situation will go.
Allen also has chimed in on several other topics. So, we learned through the silver lining Allen still controls the program. Yet, it’s still puzzling why McCloughan has not spoken to the media about anything. Especially, considering he has been talkative in the past with media.
There are plenty of questions, concerns, and even speculation as to why the Redskins won’t let McCloughan speak. And the fact the news got out that the team won’t allow him to speak is even more absurd than his silence. However, during Tuesday’s morning broadcast, former Redskins’ great and current ESPN980 radio personality Chris Cooley may have gone overboard with his speculation as to why we have not heard from McCloughan.
During ESPN980’s morning drive, Cooley speculated if the reason McCloughan has been muted is due to his issue with drinking alcohol.
“You start to wonder, what the hell is going on here?” Cooley asked as transcribed by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “And I start to look at this and say, ‘Do we not trust what Scot McCloughan is going to say to the media, and is that why he’s not allowed to talk to the media?’ And if we don’t trust what he’s going to say to the media, why don’t we trust what he’s going to say to the media? Now, if you look at the history of Scot McCloughan, I think the one thing that you’d immediately start to flush out as to why we don’t trust what he’s going to say is that he’s had a drinking problem over his entire career. And so you ask right away, is he drinking?”
McCloughan has battled with drinking throughout his front office career. In 2010, his contract was terminated by the San Francisco 49ers, while he was serving as GM. It was later revealed the reasoning for his dismissal was his personal issues with drinking.
He was later hired to serve as a senior personnel executive by the Seattle Seahawks. But in 2014 he resigned from the position citing personal issues. In an ESPN story later that year, McCloughan opened up about his issues with drinking.
So, there is merit to Cooley’s speculating. However, its way out of line for a respected media personality to speculate on such a personal matter. Cooley admitted he had no knowledge of if McCloughan was drinking again and if it had anything to do with his silence.
Don’t get me wrong, it very well could come out later to be true. McCloughan’s history does not make the statement by Cooley farfetched. But why go there?
Keep in mind, Cooley is an employee of the Redskins, as ESPN980 is owned by the team. Also, it’s notable that Cooley has been very knowledgeable about the well-being of team affairs in part due to his closeness with the players and front office after spending nine seasons with the team as a player.
One must wonder, was Cooley speculating as a fan, or was he cleverly placing a thought to the public ears, that maybe one may have orchestrated or asked him to do?
Jones has reported that there could be some “jealousy” from Allen towards McCloughan. Allen held the role of Redskins’ GM for 2009-2015 before relinquishing the title to McCloughan. And there appears to be some dissension between the two, as reported. So much so, there is speculation that McCloughan could be on the hot seat this season after what is perceived by management two lackluster off-seasons.
Cooley certainly could have acted alone, and been asking as a fan on the outside as he claimed. Yet, being a guy that appears to always be in the know, throwing out a speculation about a fellow co-worker’s drinking habits is truly absurd. Cooley is no shock jock, a loose cannon but no shock jock. He has sound statements and sound opinions on all sports matters, especially the Redskins. His speculation about such a personal matter without any source or knowledge to the subject is inappropriate, to say the least. His speculation was way out of line, and one that McCloughan should not be so thrilled about hearing.