WASHINGTON — The relationship between Scot McCloughan and the Redskins seemed to be slowly going downhill, then all of a sudden, it appears to have fallen off a cliff.
It all started when news broke that McCloughan was not at the Scouting Combine, one of the most important duties an NFL GM has in a given year. When the Redskins opted to grant head coach Jay Gruden a surprise extension Saturday night, it signaled they were aligning themselves with the coach instead of the GM.
Mike Jones of The Washington Post joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Monday morning to discuss all the drama surrounding Redskins Park, and he elaborated on what he says is a relationship “headed to a divorce.”
Here’s how Jones recalled all the madness.
On a Crazy Week at the Combine
“It was insane because, I mean, you know it’s the Redskins. Something always happens. But I don’t think I’ve ever had a week where there was just so much bang bang bang, and then it happened at such late [hours]. I got the least amount of sleep I think I’ve ever gotten. I think I’ve never done so much bar-hopping chasing people to find some answers and stuff like that at 4 and 5 o’clock in the morning. I haven’t written a single thing about draft picks.”
On the Redskins’ Image Around the League
“The week was bad for the Redskins. They were taking hits left and right from a PR standpoint. Everybody in the league was talking about them. You go into Prime 47 late at night, and people from other teams — not reporters, people from other teams — would see me and be like ‘What’s going on with Washington?’
“Everybody was just wondering what the heck was the deal. You even had agents saying that they didn’t know if they wanted to send their guys there. Agents who had met with the Redskins about re-signing, saying like ‘Who’s in charge there?’
“Ultimately Bruce [Allen] was kind of like ‘Alright, we gotta do something because my fake Ian Rapoport Redskins three-way trade thing didn’t work to change the story. And so let’s sign Jay [Gruden] to an extension.'”
On Scot McCloughan’s Future
“That’s the really sad thing, because Scot is such a good dude. Loves football. Eats, drinks, sleeps it. You talk to guys who have worked with him in the league, all he does is watch football, and, unfortunately, drink. There’s frictions that are going on there between him and Allen. We still don’t know the whole story of what happened, some type of blowup. This thing is headed to a divorce.
“And they’re saying like ‘Oh yeah, everything’s gonna be OK. He’s gonna be working when we get back.’ But after the draft, boom, he’s probably gone.”
On Jay Gruden’s Future
“Jay Gruden is growing in his power and his respect in the eyes of Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder. It’s kind of crazy to give a guy an extension after just two back-to-back winning seasons, and one where they missed the playoffs, where they had all the chances in the world to beat Carolina in a big game to clinch it or to win again against the Giants and didn’t do it.
“But they do feel like he is their guy, and they’re trusting his voice, his opinion. And so yeah, Jay Gruden is ascending, Scot McCloughan is fading, and Bruce Allen is still flexing. And that’s a little unsettling if you’re a Redskins fan.”
On Pierre Garcon
“I think that Pierre likes being here. But I think that he feels like, obviously, he sees the writing on the wall, and he’s just like ‘This place is just such a mess here.’ And that’s all he can do is laugh. … I wouldn’t be surprised if he winds up in San Francisco with Kyle [Shanahan].”
On Scot McCloughan’s Whereabouts
“He’s home, he’s not in rehab. Some people had wondered about that. (Host Jason Bishop asks: “Home where?”) Loudoun [Virginia]. He’s talked to some people, he’s watching the Combine on TV and watching game film. It’s really sad.
“And now some guys are saying, ‘You know, when we get back to Ashburn on Tuesday, Scot’s gonna be there, running meetings and everything.’ I would really find that hard to imagine.”
On Chances Kirk Cousins Gets Traded
“I don’t know what percentage I’d put on there, but they’re talking, and that’s more than they had been [doing]. I think it’s still gonna be awhile. I think they’ll wait and see. If they don’t get a crazy offer around draft time, then I think they go ahead and wind up working something out.”
On How Jay Gruden’s Extension Affects Kirk Cousins’ Future
“This extension changes everything in my mind now. Now they’re not quite as desperate. And in a way, maybe they’re like, ‘Look Kirk, we’ve got Jay here. You want to be here with him. He’s the reason you’re a starting quarterback.’ But then they can also say, ‘You know what? We got time, so if you don’t want this, we’re not gonna beg you.’
“So there’s all kinds of different leverage tools. They don’t have a whole lot, but [the extension] helps them in a way, as well.”
“We don’t know what the substance was. But it’s kind of interesting. He had such a great year last year, really had a resurgence. Now, sometimes these substances are something you get over the counter in GNC and you don’t realize that it’s not approved. Or sometimes it’s more than that.”
“You hope it was some type of mistake. You feel bad because he finally had a breakthrough, and then you’re like, ‘Oh, was it because of [PEDs]?'”
On Redskins’ Free-Agent Strategy
“It sounds like they’re going after a lot of second-tier guys. I don’t think there’s gonna be like a Josh Norman type of signing.”
On the Next Big Story
“The next big story would probably be a Scot McCloughan buyout or something like that. And I still don’t think, if Cousins is gonna sign, I don’t think it’s gonna be until July 14, right before that deadline, because that just gives him more leverage and puts pressure on the Redskins.”
On Chris Baker’s Future with the Redskins
“They had a meeting, and they were very encouraged by that, Baker’s camp was. They said they were gonna get an offer from the Redskins on Tuesday. I don’t know why the Redskins are waiting until Tuesday. But the thing is, is the offer going to be what Baker’s camp hopes it is? I heard that he kind of really thinks he can get paid this offseason, and the Redskins are kind of like ‘Eh.’
“They might not want to meet that asking price. But they did say they were encouraged by the meeting, so we’ll see.”