Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 12, 25 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 17
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 64
—NFL Draft (4/27) 74
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 210

Dysfunction at Redskins Park?

—Nobody should be surprised that the heat is being turned up at Redskins Park. This is an important year for the franchise. They have to show that they belong among the group of teams that is in playoff contention annually. There is no reason to doubt Mike Jones’ report that Bruce Allen is putting pressure on Scot McCloughan.

—Last year was not a good one for McCloughan. His solution at strong safety, David Bruton, was a bust. McCloughan’s gamble that DL Stephen Paea would turn things around in his second year with the team and that Kendall Reyes would solidify the defensive line did not pan out. All three players were cut, leaving millions in dead cap money and flaws in the defense that teams exposed over and over again. The team didn’t get much immediate return out of the draft, although to be fair the Achilles problems suffered by top pick Josh Doctson could not be foreseen.

—This is just speculation but I think that Allen and McCloughan may have disagreed on some decisions last year and although McCloughan prevailed, Allen’s way would have turned out better. That doesn’t mean that McCloughan will cede his personnel authority to Allen but perhaps Allen’s voice will carry more weight when they make personnel decisions.


—Is that a bad thing? Well, maybe. But when you evaluate the situation you do have to factor in the draft class of 2014. Allen was in charge of that draft, the year after Mike Shanahan left and a season before McCloughan arrived. The top four picks in that draft, the earliest of which was the 47th overall, were all either starters (Spencer Long, Morgan Moses, Bashaud Breeland) or top-line substitutes (Trent Murphy) in 2016. There will be at least some discussion about offering all four of them contract extensions. Maybe Allen got lucky but that’s a pretty good haul in one year without a first-round pick. At the very least it does give Allen some credibility when it comes to making draft decisions and perhaps it couldn’t hurt to give some weight to his input.

—I’m hearing the word dysfunction used to describe the situation and I don’t think that applies at Redskins Park right now. That would apply if, say, Dan Snyder was sitting in on personnel meetings. Perhaps Allen prohibiting McCloughan from speaking with the press is a sign of some dysfunction but it doesn’t really affect what is important, what personnel decisions get made.

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