Washington fires two pro scouts, hires former Hogs legend, as Ron Rivera's influence grows

Eric Edholm
·3 min read

A new team nickname is not the only change afoot for Washington’s NFL franchise.

In addition to announcing a name change away from “Redskins,” the team has let go of two pro scouts, according to the Washington Post’s Les Carpenter.

Director of pro personnel Alex Santos and assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II were let go this weekend. The timing comes close to the assumed start of the season, and we don’t yet know the reasons for the two moves.

The timing could partially be explained by the relatively recent availability of a scout whom longtime Washington fans will recognize.

Don Warren, who spent all 14 years of his playing career with the franchise and won three Super Bowls, has reportedly been hired in a pro scouting role. Warren had spent a decade in the Carolina Panthers’ scouting department, working there with new Washington head coach Ron Rivera for nine of those years.

The Panthers didn’t renew Warren’s contract this offseason. His hiring could be another indicator of the considerable influence that Rivera possesses with the team.

Dan Snyder, right, is still the Washington franchise owner. But new head coach Ron Rivera, left, appears to wield significant power with the team. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Dan Snyder, right, is still the Washington franchise owner. But new head coach Ron Rivera, left, appears to wield significant power with the team. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Offseason of major changes in D.C.

The franchise made other front-office maneuvers earlier this offseason following Rivera’s hiring.

Franchise owner Dan Snyder fired team president Bruce Allen, who had been at that post for a decade, back in December. The assumption was that Rivera — who was hired two days after Allen was let go — would wield some additional say in personnel, as the team forwent naming a true general manager.

The de facto GM for personnel matters has been vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith, who helped run free agency and the draft with input from Rivera.

In January, Washington let go of senior vice president of football operations Eric Schaffer, who had been in his role for nearly 17 years. Vice president of player personnel Doug Williams also was reassigned; his new title is senior vice president of player development.

Rob Rogers, who spent time with Rivera with the Panthers, was brought in to replace Schaffer. Smith was elevated into Williams’ top personnel role.

There was scuttlebutt amid all these changes that the respected Santos could be caught up in the front-office shuffle back in January, but he was kept on board through this weekend. He served in that role since 2014, when he took over from Morocco Brown.

Perhaps Warren coming free was part of the reason for the odd timing. And we certainly can’t look past the Rivera factor as well.

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