Changes needed in Redskins front office


Noam Jacobovitz

The fish rots from the head. This saying applies to many things in life, and the Redskins front office is not excluded. The Redskins will not win a Super Bowl nor make any real progress until President Bruce Allen and Owner Daniel Snyder are gone from Ashburn. The mishandling of the Kirk Cousins fiasco by Allen was borderline malpractice. With offseason after offseason of embarrassing mistakes, Allen should have been gone years ago, but yet here we are with the Redskins going backwards and becoming less competitive after losing Kirk Cousins and top-rated 22-year-old corner Kendall Fuller.

On Tuesday night, Allen traded Fuller for 33-year-old all-pro QB Alex Smith, but at a high cost. In return, Kansas City received a 3rd round pick and Kendall Fuller, one of Washington’s top defenders last year who is only 22-years-old.

Some Redskins media outlets are saying that this is a good deal because Washington exchanged a  slot corner for a very good quarterback, but giving in to mediocrity is blatantly wrong. The Redskins drafted Kirk in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, the same draft where they drafted Robert Griffin III second overall. Ever since RGIII failed, the Redskins front office has never fully trusted Kirk. Cousins had an excellent 2015 season in which the Redskins went 9-7 and won the NFC East. Kirk threw for 4,166 yards and 29 touchdowns, but the Allen was not convinced to give Cousins a long term deal so Kirk was handed the Franchise Tag heading into the 2016 season. In 2016, Cousins threw for 4,917 yards and 25 TDs, enough to get selected to his first Pro Bowl. Yet again, the Skins did not want to hand him a long term deal even after he had no had the two best single seasons passing yards season in Redskins history: 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Last offseason, Allen dominated headlines by firing GM Scot McCloughan and using his former alcohol addiction as the excuse. McCloughan had done a great job drafting players like Fuller, signing top players like Josh Norman, but Allen’s jealousy of McCloughan led to his firing displaying how out of touch Allen and Snyder were with the rest of the organization. This was especially displayed in October when linebacker Mason Foster was placed on the IR after playing three straight weeks with a torn labrum and some confusion surrounding his treatment and said, “all I know is Scot wouldn’t have done me like that…best coaches and teammates I’ve ever had & I truly mean that but (sarcastic thinking emoji),” on Twitter. Foster then doubled down on the front office shade when asked what the problem was in the organization, “coaches, doctors, and trainers are amazing”.

Now the Redskins have downgraded to an older, but similar version of Cousins in Alex Smith and Allen is to blame. To not only downgrade that position, but then lose their highest rated defender (PFF) and a potential star in Fuller is a disgrace. Although a quarterback has much more value than a slot corner, giving up a great young player in Fuller is no way to build for future if winning a Super Bowl is truly the goal of the team. Star safety DJ Swearinger expressed similar frustrations the day after the trade tweeting, “people say they wanna win right but you throw away your best defender.” Allen’s obsession with mediocrity is present yet again.

The Skins front office dysfunctionality was extremely potent with their unprofessionalism towards Fuller and Cousins. When the trade was announced, it was said that the “player to be named later” would be displayed in the morning, but in this day and age, everything gets out. For Fuller, Good Counsel alum, who has given his all for the team and been an extremely professional role model on and off the field to find out he’s traded on twitter is cold blooded. Fuller did make a joke about the whole situation and had fun with it after he had tweeted that he was not traded (the Redskins did not tell him or his agent) and then had to retract it—with the Bart Simpson bush meme—was funny, but sad. It is telling of the Redskins front office that they would not have the respect to tell Fuller before the whole world has to find out; it is plain wrong for him to find out he has to change his whole life on Twitter. Cousins also admitted later that he found out on his phone—the front office had no decency to say they were moving on from the guy who broke so many records after being drafted 7 years before—and was only called the next day.

The Washington Redskins will never achieve true success until Bruce Allen and Daniel Snyder are gone for good.