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The inevitable is now reality: via the Washington Post, Washington has fired troubled general manager Scot McCloughan just two years into a four-year contract.
The front-office situation in Washington has been a hot topic for weeks, and came to a head this month, when the team left McCloughan home for the NFL scouting combine but said he was dealing with a “family matter.”
The Post quoted a team official who said the decision to fire McCloughan was because of his ongoing problems with alcohol.
“He’s had multiple relapses due to alcohol,” the source said. “He showed up in the locker room drunk on multiple occasions. . . . This has been a disaster for 18 months.”
McCloughan has long battled alcoholism, and the Post story said it is what led to him being fired by San Francisco in 2010 and the Seahawks in 2014. The team official said McCloughan has received alcohol treatment since he was hired by Washington in January 2015.
Still only 46 years old, McCloughan is highly respected around the NFL for his scouting acumen, and despite the bad break-up, the Post’s Mike Jones tweeted that McCloughan was respected by “everyone who worked and played for him.”
But was McCloughan too good at his job? In a subsequent tweet, Jones said that others in the Washington front office were jealous of McCloughan, and that his drinking was an excuse to get him out of the building:
McCloughan has said previously that he’s able to do his job and drink, but clearly it became too much for Washington to deal with.
From a timing standpoint, it couldn’t be much worse: Thursday is the first day of free agency, and the draft is about six weeks away, with dozens of pro days between now and then.
There’s also the small matter of what will happen with quarterback Kirk Cousins; the team has franchised Cousins again, but there was a report Thursday that Cousins appealed directly to team owner Dan Snyder to be traded, and Snyder refused.
NFL free agency coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Ranking the most interesting teams to watch in free agency, from 32 to 1
• The top 20 available free agents
• A list of the the franchise-tagged players
• Some interesting possibilities at quarterback for a change
• An all-time great running back leads top skill-position players
• Top 25 defensive players, led by a mountain of a defensive end
• A couple of guards lead a thin offensive line group