Scot McCloughan loses grievance against Redskins

Chris Lingebach
October 29, 2018 - 8:33 pm
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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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An NFL arbitrator has ruled in favor of the Washington Redskins in a grievance filed by former general manager Scot McCloughan, The Washington Post reports.

Fired in March 2017, McCloughan, The Post reports, "had sought payment of the roughly $2.8 million remaining on his four-year contract when the team dismissed him with 22 months remaining on his deal."

This is the exact opposite of what Chris Russell reported on 106.7 shortly after the story broke, and that's certainly not to say The Post was inaccurate in any way. Russell just read the story completely wrong.

Somehow.

After teasing the story in his opening segment, Russell finally delivered the news (wrongly) on 106.7 The Fan:

"Real quickly to breaking news. This via The Washington Post. Scot McCloughan, the Redskins' former general manager – according to The Post's Liz Clarke and Mark Maske, and I would have no reason to doubt them – has won his grievance against the Washington Redskins. He had sought payment for roughly $2.8 million of his four-year contract when he was let go with about just shy of two years remaining left on his deal. I think it was about 22, 23 months. The NFL-appointed arbitrator, a former New Jersey attorney general, has not made his decision public and available for perusal. But The Post says, quote, 'It is a final decision with no avenue for appeal under the NFL system.'

"Now, what you need to know is this: The Redskins, from what I've been told by multiple people, were extremely, supremely confident that they were going to win this grievance. There was very little doubt in their mind that they were going to win this grievance... and now they've lost it. And now the owner has to pay money that he didn't think he would have to pay to a guy that, from what I've been told, he did not want around as long as he stayed around. And, ultimately, the way it played out – again, from what I've been told... And maybe somebody's setting me up and lying to me. I don't know. I don't think so.

"I know people, and I know people who know people and things that go on in that building – that, basically the owner said you have to go out and get a personnel guy, and Bruce Allen said, 'This is my guy. This is the guy I want to bring in.' And Bruce Allen, from what I understand, wanted to keep Scot McCloughan around, and keep giving him chances, and chances, and chances and chances, and then ultimately they finally pulled the plug.

"Now, if I was Bruce Allen right now, I'm enjoying a three-game winning streak, but I would be looking over my shoulders, because the owner is not going to be happy about this. And I have a more than sneaking suspicion he's going to hold Bruce Allen directly accountable for this. Now that doesn't mean he's going to fire him. That doesn't mean Bruce Allen's going to be removed as president of football operations. But this is just one more layer onto the owner's general unhappiness with how the front office has been structured for the last couple of years."

"The bottom line is this is not a thing that will have any effect on the football product on the field, so many of you will not care," Russell went on to say. "But trust me on this – trust me on this – there is gonna be some big-time heat disseminated from the ownership down to the president because of this situation. Will it be enough? I don't know. I don't know."

The important caveat to reiterate is that Russell teased the story in his opening segment, meaning he had an entire commercial break to read and comprehend the story correctly, and still got it wrong.

This is a case study in reading what you want to read.

This since-deleted tweet, and the headline of the story embedded therein, shows how little care Russell must have made in his initial rush to get on top of the story. The timestamp shows that Russell sent this tweet just as he was coming back from break to inaccurately deliver the news.

Chris_Russell_Scot_McCloughan
@Russellmania621

To his credit, Russell came back in the next segment ready to offer a full on-air apology:

"Alright, so this might be the most embarrassing moment that I've probably had, and I'm just going to be completely honest with you," Russell said. "I completely screwed up, and there's nobody to blame but myself. I read the one line in The Washington Post article wrong as we were getting on the air and I read it wrong. I read it completely and terribly wrong, and I made a just terrible mistake."

"I read the line wrong," Russell said. "I'll just say this, there is nobody to blame. I read the line wrong and I apologize to no end. The Redskins did win the grievance hearing. They did win the grievance hearing. I read it wrong. I read the first paragraph – I read the whole column – and it says 'an NFL arbitrator has ruled in the team's favor, according to a person familiar with the process.'

"And I, somehow in my twisted way of reading it – I don't know how I did it – I read it as they ruled in favor of McCloughan, and I apologize to no end. It's my fault. There's nobody to blame. I will take the heat. I'm an idiot. What do you want me to say, other than I'm sorry and I made a mistake and I feel bad? And I apologize to the Washington Redskins. It was a terrible, terrible mistake on my behalf."

Russell continued his apology tour on Twitter.

God bless you, Chris Russell. And to all the young journos coming up in the world: Slow down, kiddos.

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