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Not hiring a GM until after the NFL Draft would be a mistake for the Redskins, according to one analyst

Not hiring a GM until after the NFL Draft would be a mistake for the Redskins, according to one analyst

In Ron Rivera's short time as the head coach of the Redskins, plenty of moves have been made. An overhaul of the coaching staff, along with changes in the front office, have shown that Rivera is determined to switch things up in Washington.

Yet while the first few weeks of the offseason have been filled with transactions and movement, one important position remains open: General Manager.

Bruce Allen, former Redskins Team President, had been acting as the general manager prior to his removal following the end of the 2019 season. With Allen now out, the plan is for the Redskins to bring in a general manager to work with Rivera. However, reports have suggested that this move may not be made until after the 2020 NFL Draft in April. Part of the reasoning could stem from the fact that a lot of the pre-draft work has already been done at this point in the year.

But with Rivera and the Redskins about to enter an important stretch as they look to shift the culture and direction of the team, is it really beneficial to do it without the general manager that will presumably come aboard to help do just that? According to NBC Sports Bay Area's 49ers' reporter Matt Maiocco, it is not.

"I think that's a mistake," Maiocco told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk Podcast, when referring to the Redskins potentially waiting on a new general manager.

Part of Maiocco's reasoning is because of the sheer importance of what will be done over the next couple of months. Not only is the NFL Draft the Redskins' Super Bowl this year, as Maiocco says, but free agency begins in March as well. Waiting until after the draft to hire a general manager would mean missing out on key moments to bring in veteran players.

In addition, Maiocco believes that the Redskins new coach-centered approach with Rivera calls for a new general manager now. He believes that having a general manager that can connect and grow with the head coach is essential if Washington really wants things to change.

"I think it's ill-timed [to wait]. It doesn't matter what the scouting department has done as far as the lead up to this. You still need to bring in somebody who you see eye-to-eye with, that you trust and you make decisions together," Maiocco said. "You don't make decisions with a short time, somebody who's not going to be invested in the project. Somebody who doesn't know what their future is."

For Maiocco, the ideal scenario would be to bring in a general manager on the same terms as Rivera, whose contract is reportedly for five years. Therefore, the two become linked.

"Hire a general manager who's on a five-year contract. Tie those guys at the hip, so that Ron Rivera's success is also he GM's success, and the GM's failures are also Ron Rivera's failures," Maiocco said. "That's the way you get things done."

Why exactly does Maiocco believe this is the right decision for the Redskins? Because he has seen it first-hand while covering the San Francisco 49ers.

From the days where Bill Walsh had the reigns up until the current tenure in which Kyle Shanahan selected GM John Lynch to work with him, Maiocco has seen San Francisco feature teams that were coach-centered and others that weren't. It's the former approach that has seen more success.

"I think they've had more success when they've had it that way. With the head coach kind of being the central figure of the organization," Maiocco said.

A major factor contributing to the good years, including 2019, has been the ability for the head coach and general manager to work together in order to help the team improve. Maiocco recalled talking to Lynch earlier this year and asking him about whether he scouts during the season. Lynch surprisingly said he hadn't much, because Shanahan liked to have him nearby to talk to and bounce ideas off of.

That formula has clearly worked for the 49ers this season, as the team enters the Divisional round as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Maiocco believes that isn't luck, but rather a demonstration of the importance of having a coach and general manager on the same page.

"The key is always to have cohesion between the front office and the coaching staff," he said.

Maiocco likes the Rivera hire and the direction the Redskins are heading in. But with what he's seen in his years covering the NFL and similar situations like the 49ers, he believes that Redskins would be better off finding a general manager before they are on the clock in April.

"Based on everything that I've seen through the years and what I've witnessed and my personal beliefs, he should get his guy," Maiocco said. "And he should get his guy before the draft."

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Report: Jordan Reed has cleared concussion protocol, wants to continue playing football

Report: Jordan Reed has cleared concussion protocol, wants to continue playing football

Just days after it was reported that Jordan Reed was still in concussion protocol six months after suffering one last August against the Falcons, the Redskins tight end is apparently healthy once again.

According to The Athletic, Reed has cleared concussion protocol and wants to continue playing professional football. Reed missed the entire season due to the concussion he suffered in Atlanta, the seventh documented concussion of his football career. 

While Reed may still want to suit up, it's unlikely it will be with Washington.

The Redskins are expected to release the tight end, who is entering the second to last season of a five-year, $46 million extension he signed following the 2015 season. The Redskins would save $8.5 million against the cap if they parted ways with Reed prior to June 1.

New head coach Ron Rivera has already parted with multiple veterans, releasing cornerback Josh Norman and Paul Richardson last Friday. Norman had one year remaining on his deal, while Richardson had three.

When asked about the tight end position earlier this month, Rivera wasn't shy about the team needing to improve the unit.

"Do we have our tight end? Probably not," Redskins head coach Ron Rivera said on Redskins Nation on Feb. 4. "That’s a big question mark." 

Two tight ends the Redskins could seek in free agency are Austin Hooper and Eric Ebron, among others.

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Redskins exercise team option on Adrian Peterson for 2020

Redskins exercise team option on Adrian Peterson for 2020

There was little doubt, but Adrian Peterson is officially returning to the Washington Redskins in 2020.

Washington officially exercised Peterson's team option on his contract on Wednesday, keeping the 35-year-old under contract through next season.

"Adrian Peterson is the epitome of what it means to be a pro in this league," head coach Ron Rivera said in the team's statement. "Adrian’s leadership and passion towards the game of football will set an example of what is expected of the players in this program moving forward."

The seven-time Pro Bowler has led Washington in rushing yards the last two seasons. A year ago, he was named a team captain for the Burgundy and Gold and led the team in rushing touchdowns and carries in addition to rushing yards. In 2018, he rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first season with the team.

The future Hall of Famer has continued to climb in the record books during his time in Washington. Last season, he passed Walter Payton on the all-time rushing touchdowns list and eclipsed 14,000 yards on the ground. Entering 2020, he remains 1,054 yards away from passing Lions' legend Barry Sanders for fourth all-time in rushing yards.

Peterson's return to Washington was expected, especially considering the many question marks surrounding the rest of the position group.

If the Redskins had let Peterson become a free agent, Washington's top two running backs under contract would have been third-year pro Derrius Guice and sophomore Bryce Love, both who have a laundry list of injury concerns. The team's top pass-catching back, Chris Thompson, is a free agent.

"It’s a blessing to be back and I look forward to continue leading and inspiring those around me to be great and think outside the box!" Peterson told NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson. "Not only am I appreciative to the organization for having faith in me but also love how the Redskins nation has embraced, showered me with love. I’ll continue to pour my heart and soul into winning a championship! The best is yet to come!"

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