Redskins front office gets 'fresh start' with Bruce Allen gone

Chris Lingebach
January 15, 2020 - 9:55 am

The Redskins continued their front office restructuring on Tuesday by promoting longtime scout Tim Gribble to Director of College Scouting.

Front office changes thus far have included Kyle Smith's promotion to Vice President of Player Personnel and the addition of Rob Rogers – , who was hired away from the Panthers and should serve more or less as a replacement to salary cap guru Eric Schaffer, who left the Redskins last week after 17 years. Doug Williams was moved out of player personnel into a role in player development.

The biggest change, of course, came at the top, when Redskins owner Dan Snyder fired tenured team president Bruce Allen after a 3-13 season. While it's hard to say whether these sweeping changes will translate into future victories, what's clear is it's Ron Rivera's show now, with Smith as his top lieutenant.

What's also clear is Redskins fans – beaten time and time again by false promises of change – don't know what to make of everything that's happening. JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington attempted to provide some clarity during a Tuesday appearance with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan.

"I think you gotta separate some of this from coaching and front office, because they operate in separate spheres," Finlay began. "They're working towards the same goal, but I think the coaching moves, Ron has to assemble his own staff. If that means some good men and some guys that had done a good job, or had good rapport with players, have to move on... like, the coaches get it. The coaches understand the business."

"Ike Hilliard was not upset when he was let go," he said of the former wide receivers coach. "He understands that that's how this world goes. Fans got upset, but I think there's kind of a disconnect there."

"The front office by and large – Kyle Smith, Tim Gribble today that got the promotion (to Director Of College Scouting)," Finlay continued. "That was entirely expected once you saw Kyle get the promotion. Those guys are well thought of around the league. Even on the pro side, where Alex Santos runs pro personnel, his reputation is good around the league."

"When you remove Bruce Allen from that equation, the front office looks entirely different, because he oversaw everything and clouded everything," he explained. "You didn't know what moves got made that weren't his, if that makes sense, especially when it got to a big level."

Finlay shared an anecdote about Josh Norman's contract to illustrate his point. The Redskins are entering the final year of the five-year, $75 million deal Norman signed in 2016. He's owed $15 million in 2020, which would make him the second highest paid corner in the league behind Miami's Xavien Howard at $15.05 million.

"I remember earlier this year talking to somebody about the Josh Norman deal and how they're still in it and how much money it was," Finlay said. "He's been here four years and he's still one of the highest paid, if not the highest paid corner in the NFL, four years later. And somebody said, 'Yeah, Bruce got excited on that one.' You know what I mean?

"And a lot of the reputation that the Redskins have around the NFL, it won't change overnight because the league will have to say what happens when adversity hits, what happens when that first player goes to ownership behind the coach's back. And is that immediately shut down, or does that stuff start to bubble up again? Because until that bridge gets crossed, of course it seems like a really good fresh start right now, but there hasn't been any trouble."

"Let's see what happens if they drop to 2-4, or who knows," he said. "But I do think if they handle things right and Bruce is gone, and there's not some new middle man created that is viewed as ownership's proxy, then I do think the reputation of the team will start to change around the league."