WASHINGTON — Some bizarre winds are swirling around Redskins Park.
What’s most curious is general manager Scot McCloughan’s absence this week from the NFL Scouting Combine, the most important annual event for scouting departments ahead of the draft, some 600 miles away in Indianapolis.
Late Wednesday evening, 106.7 The Fan reported McCloughan was “sent home from the team on Feb. 20,” more than a week before the combine. McCloughan refuted that allegation, telling 106.7 The Fan it was “not true.”
Rather, McCloughan has been away dealing with the death of his 100-year-old grandmother, he says. He said it would “take seven days” to go through the funeral process for his grandmother.
His grandmother, Marie Bessie McCloughan, died on Feb. 6, according to an obituary in the Loveland (Colo.) Reporter-Herald newspaper. The paper reported that the funeral was scheduled for Feb. 13.
This follows months of McCloughan being shielded from reporters. He last spoke at a formal podium session last May 4 after the 2016 draft, and did not speak to reporters at all at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. in late January.
Last month, Redskins radio analyst and former tight end Chris Cooley openly speculated on air that McCloughan was drinking. The 46-year-old McCloughan has had issues with alcohol before. He was fired as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 and lost a job as a senior personnel executive with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. Writer Seth Wickersham chronicled McCloughan’s alcohol dependence in a Dec. 2014 ESPN The Magazine article. McCloughan cooperated on the piece and within a month was hired by Washington as its general manager.
McCloughan has repeatedly denied that he had been sent away from the team on Feb. 20.
“I’m taking care of my family, plain and simple,” McCloughan said.
By Thursday morning, team president Bruce Allen reaffirmed McCloughan’s comments, telling The Post’s Mike Jones that McCloughan is “dealing with family matters” and would return to work “just as soon as things are handled.”
Allen would neither confirm nor deny 106.7 The Fan’s report that McCloughan had been sent home on Feb. 20.
Later Thursday morning, JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic reported on an entirely different element of the equation. On the drama surrounding the Redskins GM, a source with knowledge of the situation told Finlay, “It’s all bullsh–, he’s not fired.”
Thursday afternoon, Finlay made an appearance with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, where he addressed this previously unreported aspect. Below is their conversation.
Grant Paulsen: You have a source telling you that, basically, this is all B.S. and he says that [McCloughan] wasn’t fired. No one ever said he was fired, and that’s what I can’t understand about this. Are they saying it’s B.S. that something here is going on other than him dealing with personal matters? Are they saying it’s B.S. that he’s fired? Because I don’t think anyone ever said he’s been fired.
JP Finlay: The B.S. is just, there’s pretty rampant speculation throughout social media and just conversationally about what’s going on here and, from the people I’ve talked to, this is a personal family matter. Scot has doubled down on that, Bruce has doubled down on that, and I think the dismissal of B.S. and what else is being reported out there is that the rest of this is just wild, rampant speculation.
GP: The rest of this meaning the Feb. 20 idea, or other stuff?
JP: If you’re looking on Twitter, I mean the allegations people are throwing around about a guy’s personal life I think are pretty unfair.
GP: Yeah, but dumb people say stuff all the time. There’s a difference between a reporter saying something, and some guy with an egg avatar saying something. I mean, they’re not gonna speculate on a picture someone took in an airport of him flying back from Mobile.
JP: Right. I may not understand the question.
GP: Alright. I guess what I’m wondering is, is the source saying that our report at this station, that Feb. 20 he was told not to be at Redskins Park anymore, that that is B.S.? Because in the quote, they say it’s B.S. that he got fired. No one has ever reported, to my knowledge, that he got fired. Are they saying that the idea that he was told by the Redskins not to be at the building, that that’s B.S.?
JP: Well, I mean, Bruce and Scot have said that that’s not correct.
GP: Scot has said that, that’s true, but Bruce was asked directly about that and said he wouldn’t speculate, that he’s dealing with a personal matter. We’re saying he is dealing with a personal matter, and he was also told not to be in the building. I think both of those things could be true.
JP: I’m not trying to refute Russell’s report. That’s not what I’m here to do. But the speculation that is out there, including the reports about the Feb. 20, that the GM in question has said is not true, my source is saying is not true.
Danny Rouhier: Okay. JP Finlay of CSN is with us. Covers the Redskins for CSN.
JP: Hold on, Danny. I’m sorry to interrupt. But we also have to let Scot’s word stand on that, more than probably anybody’s, I would think.
GP: Absolutely. Which we’ve said throughout the show. And by the way, his wife on Twitter has said that it isn’t true as well, that he was told…
JP: Right. I think those things are important to point out also.
GP: Yeah. We’ve been pointing them out all day. I agree with you. What I’m saying is, though, if I was him, I would also say that that isn’t true. So that doesn’t mean that we stop digging and go our separate ways.
DR: But let me got to this, JP. What do we know that’s true at this point, right? I’m talking about from all the beats of this whole thing, how we got to this point, what do we know is true that’s not in dispute?
JP: What do we know that’s true? Scot is not in Indianapolis for the combine. We know that Scot was told not to speak to the media at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. And, one thing that I found interesting, there are things that I knew then that in hindsight now seem a little different, right? Just in Mobile, Scot sat at the 50-yard-line with other scouts, and most of the Redskins contingent sat in the end zone watching practice roll out together. Now that’s not to suggest all those guys weren’t together at night, or at various other times, but during the open practices, the times we were all there watching, generally those guys were separated on different parts of the football field, which, in hindsight, is kind of interesting. I mean, who knows? Maybe it’s just a preferred angle to watch practice, but that kind of stuff is interesting, especially paired with we know that Scot’s grandmother passed away. I’ve known that for a few weeks. Grant, you and I texted about that a few weeks ago. But at the time, somebody’s grandmother passing away isn’t relevant information to report.
JP: It becomes relevant information to report when Scot’s not at the combine and it’s because of a family matter.