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The Truth and Nothing but the Truth?

March 14, 2017
Whenever controversy arises and complete chaos ensues, the Redskins are usually involved and a lot is said.

Sometimes, nothing is said and it makes the situation more confusing.

In a lot of situations, a lot of wrong things are said and sometimes I am guilty of that as well. We all are, right?

Occasionally, the right thing is said and it sends a strong message.

That’s what we have here when it comes to the fall-out from the firing of Scot McCloughan as Redskins general manager.

We’ll start with what wasn’t said.

The Redskins had a golden opportunity to clear up some of the record and some of the lingering issues from the unprecedented first day of free agency firing of Scot McCloughan.

They took the easy and wrong approach. As usual. President Bruce Allen proclaimed that Monday was a “great day for the Redskins” at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the team’s new corporate sponsor of their practice facility.

Whatever. Nobody cares. It’s embarrassing and humiliating that you would expect anybody to believe that Monday was a “great day for the Redskins!”

Oh wait – it was. One more day went by where the truth lingered in the same trash bin as the stench that was flushed out by Thursday’s disastrous handling of McCloughan’s firing.

Don’t get me wrong. McCloughan deserved to be released based on everything I’ve been told and everything I know.

It was the way it was handled. Par for the course.

Back to Monday, it was a great day for the Redskins bank account and that’s it. That’s how every day and every year is judged at "Pro-Football, Inc." which is the corporate name of the Redskins. 

That’s the truth. They don’t want you to know that. You deserve the truth.

Bruce Allen and the Redskins had a chance to answer some questions on the record instead of making a generic statement that told us nothing yet somehow was a thousand times better than their cowardly blindside attack of their disposed of GM in The Washington Post.

Instead, the Redskins and Allen ran. Reporters who cover the team went to Redskins Park with the hope that they would be able to get thirty seconds with the face of the franchise.

They got nothing but absolute hot stinking garbage.

The drama wasn’t going away no matter what Allen said, but he owed it to the reporters that were there and most importantly, his customer base which pays hundreds of dollars and sometimes thousands of dollars per game to support the product with absolutely no guarantee of satisfaction.

It's why days like Friday for the Redskins are so few and far-between. 

Moving on to the wrong: There’s a number of contenders here and this is where it gets dangerous.

Jason Cole of Bleacher Report issued a voiced commentary over the weekend that somehow attributed Scot McCloughan’s firing to one reason and one thing alone.

His desire to trade Kirk Cousins and Bruce Allen/Jay Gruden’s desire to not trade Cousins at all.

I’m not saying that Cole’s premise is wrong, that there was disagreement in the front office on what to do with Cousins. Of course, there was. I support McCloughan’s stance in this – if that was indeed his viewpoint.

However, he had no power and authority because of many, many violations of that trust inside Redskins Park.

A main source continues to insist that the Redskins covered up and protected McCloughan for as long as they could, but finally had enough. Nobody should commend the Redskins for that, but the notion that this is a normally run organization is preposterous. It’s not.

Many don’t want to listen to me, because a lot of fans think I am just bitter – but Scot McCloughan never had any ultimate power over anything, because Bruce Allen never relinquished any part of his control. As McCloughan lost any amount of grip that he had, Jay Gruden stepped up and gained more, leading to his contract extension.

Did McCloughan have significant input at times? Of course, input is completely different than power and control.

I can assure you one-thousand percent this this much is true. The Redskins, as dastardly as they can be, did not fire their general manager on the first day of free agency because he disagreed with the plan to try and keep Kirk Cousins.

That’s factually wrong and makes absolutely zero sense. In no way, shape or form did that happen regardless of what anybody tells you. Remember, Cole and McCloughan have a very close relationship and I would be willing to bet $500 that’s where the narrative came from.

Seems to be a lot of that going around these days. Chick Hernandez of CSNMA had a report that was quickly squashed by several reporters including Grant Paulsen, myself and I believe John Keim as well. It's hard to keep track of everything. 

Chris Mortensen of ESPN had a report last week that Kirk Cousins asked for or "appealed personally" for a  trade to Dan Snyder and that was rebuffed by Cousins himself on Adam Schefter’s podcast. Cousins essentially inquired about a trade to the owner. See how things can get very confusing. 

Moving forward, our story of McCloughan being sent home on February 20 th from Redskins Park has been denied by everyone including Santa Claus.

However, nobody except McCloughan, his wife and his agent were willing to put their name behind the rejection of the story, so I have no idea how to determine what these rejections mean and how legitimate they are. NOBODY has disputed our report in any way directly to me, with the exception of McCloughan and his wife. 

I can tell you this and promise you this: There’s more information and evidence than people know about and athletes, coaches, executives and fans should always remember that. They never do, however.

It’s always going to be “he said, she said” or two (usually more) sides to every story. The truth lies somewhere in between and is rarely ever fully known when it comes to non-transactions.

The notion that people tell the truth 100% of the time and reporters should never, ever be misled or that they should never present certain sides of the issue is ridiculous. Wake up, America. It’s 2017.

Ever been in a car accident? Ever been in a fight? Have you ever had a relationship end? Sure you have. In every one of these situations, there’s almost always at least two different versions and both sides usually blame each other. It’s called reality. That’s the way it works.

Don’t believe everything you see and hear. NO matter who is saying it or what they are saying.

Lastly, to wrap this up: I commend DeAngelo Hall for a couple of tweets that he sent out on Sunday supporting Bruce Allen and the Redskins in one tweet and wishing Scot McCloughan well in another message.

Redskins 2015: DeAngelo Hall (Week 2 vs. Rams)
Photo Credit: Ed Sheahin/PressBox



This was beyond smart of Hall to do and shows leadership and of course, a clear and reasonable approach to a very difficult situation.

Hall didn’t have to say anything but when he chose to say it, he did so with class and dignity.

You don’t have to like that Hall supported the Redskins and his boss, but he has a right to feel that way and he also likely knows a LOT more than 99.5% of us.

He could have chosen to say anything but instead he was willing to take some criticism for what he believes was the right thing to say.

I commend Hall for that. 

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for six seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for the last five. He covers the Redskins for Monumental Network (www.DCHotRead.com), WashingtonTimes.com, BreakingBurgundy.com & Warpath Magazine. Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN    


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