Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins' 5 most important offseason moves

Need to Know: The Redskins' 5 most important offseason moves

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 13, 44 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.


Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 32
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 50
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 89

The five most important events of the offseason

The Redskins are about to close the loop on their front office situation with a 9 a.m. announcement of the new personnel structure. That, obviously, will be big news. Let’s look back and count down the five most important events that have occurred since the season ended on January 1.

5. Drafting Jonathan Allen—The Redskins had not drafted a defensive lineman in the first round since 1997 so the pick was significant. They also got a very good one. Allen was widely considered to be one of the top half dozen or so players in the draft pool but some odd circumstances and questionable selections by other teams let him slide back to No. 17. There is real hope that Allen can be a cornerstone of a defense that is a strength of the team rather than a weakness that needs to be compensated for.

4. Free agency arrivals and departures—Chris Baker, DeSean Jackson, and Pierre Garçon punched their tickets out of town soon after free agency started in March. The Redskins got out the checkbook and focused mostly on the defense, bringing in linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. They did try to mitigate the loss of their starting receivers by bringing in Terrelle Pryor.

3. Kirk Cousins gets and signs exclusive franchise tag—This is a big deal because it never has happened to a quarterback before. Before Cousins in 2016, the only quarterback to play a season on a franchise tag was Drew Brees. The Chargers did not tag him for a second time. He signed the tender a few weeks after getting it, guaranteeing him a 2018 salary of nearly $24 million. There was a lot of chatter about a possible trade around the time of the combine but it turned out to be nothing but noise.

2. Coaching staff moves—Defensive coordinator Joe Barry was fired, along with some of his position coaches. Greg Manusky replaced Barry and Jim Tomsula was hired to coach the defensive line. Everyone knew that offensive coordinator Sean McVay would become a head coach eventually but his time came a year or two earlier than many thought it would as he was hired as the Rams head coach. Matt Cavanaugh took his place. Finally, after all of the staff shakeups underneath him Jay Gruden got a two-year contract extension that carries through the 2020 season.

1. Scot McCloughan fired—This was one of the ugliest chapters in memory, starting with McCloughan first being left home as the team sent its contingent to the NFL Combine. Then they let him twist in the wind for a week or so before firing him while having an anonymous source trash his character on the way out the door. The impact of the departure of one of the best talent evaluators in the business will take a couple of years to determine. The other end of this story will be closed out this when the team announces the new front office structure created in the wake of firing McCloughan.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

With Barry Trotz out, Jay Gruden is now your longest-tenured major head coach in D.C.


With Barry Trotz out, Jay Gruden is now your longest-tenured major head coach in D.C.

Jay Gruden is many things, including honest, witty, one of the greatest Arena League quarterbacks in the history of the universe and, as of June 18, the longest-tenured head coach of a major D.C. sports team.

With the Capitals and Barry Trotz parting ways, Gruden is now officially the area's most experienced boss (while Gruden was actually hired a few months before Trotz back in 2014, they both have led their teams through four seasons up to this point, which is the number that matters here).

Scott Brooks, meanwhile, has overseen the Wizards for two campaigns, while Nats manager Dave Martinez is in the middle of his first year at the helm.

This designation will pair nicely with the fact that Gruden will also be the first 'Skins headman to hold his job into a fifth season in the Dan Snyder era. You don't need to make plans to visit his statue yet, of course, but this is some uncharted territory the 51-year-old is currently hanging out in.

Now, his overall record of 28-35-1 certainly needs work, or else he'll be in danger of handing the longest-tenured distinction over to Brooks. However, Gruden does deserve credit for bringing an amount of stability to the Burgundy and Gold, a franchise that is usually as stable as Metro's Wi-Fi connection.

So, with all due respect to DC United's Ben Olsen, the Kastles' Murphy Jensen and whatever legend is in charge of your kid's dynastic flag football team, when you think of the man who's been roaming the sidelines longer than anyone else in D.C., be sure to think of this man and only this man:


Quick Links

Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

Associated Press

Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

The sudden resignation of Barry Trotz as the coach of the Stanley Cup champion Capitals is the most stunning Washington coaching departure since Joe Gibbs retired from the Redskins about 13 months after the team won its third Super Bowl in a 10-year span. 

In the years leading up to Gibbs’ departure, there were some rumblings that he might leave. As early as 1986, John Madden said that Gibbs was a candidate to burn out of the profession early. During the 1989 season, Gibbs said that he was contemplating retirement, but he retracted his words the next day. In 1990, columnist and TV pregame panelist Will McDonough reported that Gibbs would retire after the season. Retirement rumors popped up again in early 1992, just two days before Super Bowl XXVI. Again, Gibbs denied them. The Redskins easily beat the Bills to claim their third championship in 10 years and there was no apparent reason why such a successful coach would think about leaving. 

Redskins fans had become so used to hearing the Gibbs retirement reports that many just started to tune them out. So on the morning of March 5, 1993, when reports of Gibbs’ resignation as coach started to circulate, many were in a state of denial.

That turned out to be wishful thinking. The fans were given a hard jolt of reality when the team announced a noon press conference. 

There the coach was on TV, as promised, confirming the news. He said it was a family decision. 

“Every year, we get away and talk about it,” Gibbs said. “We always reach the same conclusion. This year, it was different. The boys didn’t encourage me one way or another, but they understood when I told them what I was thinking. I think Pat’s happier than anyone. This isn’t an easy lifestyle for a coach’s wife. The coach is the guy who stands up and hears everyone tell him how great he is. The wife is the one waiting at home alone while the coach is spending every night at the office. 

“I wanted more time with my family. I wanted more time with my sons. I look at this as a window of opportunity with them and I couldn’t let it pass.” 

Although he has been diagnosed with a condition that has caused some pain and some difficulty in sleeping, Gibbs said that health was not a factor in his decision. 

Richie Petitbon, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was named the team’s new head coach. It had to be one of the shortest job interviews ever. 

“I get a call from Mr. Cooke who tells me Joe has retired and that he wants me to coach the Redskins,” Petitbon said. “After I picked myself up off the floor, I said yes.” 

After hearing the news, most Redskins fans had to pick themselves up as well.  

Petitbon lasted only one season as the head coach and the other eight head coaches who followed, including Gibbs himself in a four-year second stint, have been unable to get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the Caps’ head coaching job is widely expected to go to Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant just as Pettitbon was Gibbs’. 

Washington fans hope that the Caps have better fortune with Trotz’s successors. 

More Redskins

- 53-man roster: Roster projection--Offense
- 53-man roster: Best players 25 or younger

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler