Have you heard the one about the curious incident of the GM at the combine? As with the Sherlockian origin, the curious incident is in fact the GM not being at the combine. The GM in question is Washington Redskins’ GM Scot McCloughan, and his absence is curious indeed.
The team says McCloughan is “taking care of some family matters,” and he told Mike Jones of The Washington Post he’s not there because of a death in the family. However, the death is reportedly that of McCloughan’s 100-year-old grandmother on Feb. 6, and her funeral was held Feb. 13 in Loveland, Colorado.
While there are unquestionably family matters to deal with even after a funeral, it seems highly odd that a NFL general manager wouldn’t attend one of the events most crucial to his job to settle his grandmother’s affairs, especially as her obituary says she’s survived by a son, a daughter, a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law; it’s not like McCloughan is her only remaining relative. So, there’s definitely some doubt about why McCloughan is absent, and a local radio host added to that Wednesday night.
Chris Russell, a host on DC’s 106.7 The Fan, discussed this on his show Wednesday night, and he said and tweeted that McCloughan was “sent home” by the Redskins on Feb. 20 (last Monday) and told not to return for now. Russell also said more about the situation, which he also wrote about at D.C. Hot Read:
106.7 The FAN and DCHOTREAD.com reported late on Wednesday night that a high level source said that McCloughan was sent home from Redskins Park on February 20th and told not to return until the Redskins called him back.
The source said “Bruce (Allen), Jay (Gruden), (Alex) Santos and Doug (Williams) [are} running Redskins.”
The source added “GM (Scot McCloughan) has nothing to do with anything and has not for very long time.”
Allen is the team president (and former general manager), Gruden is the head coach, Santos is the director of pro personnel and Williams (the team’s famed former quarterback) is a senior personnel executive. However, McCloughan denied these allegations to The Fan’s Brian McNally, saying he was setting up a funeral for his grandmother:
— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) March 2, 2017
McCloughan also told The Fan that the funeral process would take seven days, and denied he was sent home on Feb. 20. That comment about the funeral process makes no sense if the funeral already happened Feb. 13, though.
In any case, McCloughan’s absence certainly raises questions, and it adds to some of the odd things that have happened since he took over as Redskins’ GM in January 2015. In September 2015, his wife Jessica went on Twitter and accused ESPN reporter Dianna Russini of being McCloughan’s “side chick” and “giving BJs to get a story,” which she later apologized for. He also hasn’t formally spoken to reporters in a podium session since a May 4, 2016 session following last year’s draft, and has denied all media requests for months, including at January’s Senior Bowl.
Meanwhile, just two weeks ago, former Redskins’ tight end and current ESPN 980 host Chris Cooley asked on air “is he drinking?” (McCloughan resigned from his job as San Francisco 49ers GM in 2010, citing personal issues, and later admitted he struggled with alcohol abuse; in a 2014 ESPN profile, when he was a Seahawks’ personnel executive, he was still having beers, but only on occasion.) The team has refused to address Cooley’s comments.
We don’t yet know what’s going on with McCloughan, or if there’s any truth to Cooley’s theorizing (which he admitted wasn’t based on inside knowledge) or Russell’s source’s claims that he’s been pushed out. We do know that he isn’t at the NFL combine, and that it’s incredibly rare for a general manager not to attend that. We also know that his stated reason for not being there (planning his grandmother’s funeral) also doesn’t seem to check out. All in all, it makes for a bizarre story, and one we’re likely to see more developments on.