I make no apologies about being a fan of the Washington Redskins. In most cases, it’s not something I — or anyone else — should brag about. I’m well aware of the fact that, over the past five years, the Redskins have a total of one playoff appearance.
But as someone who’s been rooting for said team for more than three decades, and endured the Dan Snyder regime for the last two-plus decades, i’ve learned one thing: as long as Snyder owns this football team, Redskins fans are the living embodiment of the phrase “this is why we can’t have nice things.” But, when we actually do something right, and don’t get any recognition for it, while it should be par for the course, it’s one of the few things that i’ll take a stand about.
(What the hell does any of this have to do with the Mike Maccagnan and the New York Jets? Hold on, i’m getting there).
In 2015, the Redskins hired Scot McCloughan to be their General Manager and de facto head of player personnel acquisition.
Say what you will about McCloughan’s net results via the draft and free agency, but if nothing else, McCloughan instilled within the organization concepts that were otherwise unheard of in the Snyder era, such as long-term thinking, fiscal pragmatism (with player contracts), building a roster of “culture-builder” players, and a general focus of “why don’t we worry about winning on the field instead of gloating about ‘winning off the field’.”
(And that’s not even mentioning his biggest accomplishment: siding with his head coach, Jay Gruden, to convince Snyder that the organization would be better off with Kirk Cousins starting at quarterback, and officially pulling the plug on the RG3 era.)
After McCloughan’s first season in Washington, the Redskins went from a 4–12 football team in 2014 to winning the NFC East and earning just their third playoff berth in the past decade in 2015.
And despite all of that, the powers that be in the NFL overlooked McCloughan when handing out the NFL’s Executive of the Year award.
Instead, they gave it to Mike Maccagnan, the (now-deposed) General Manager of the New York Jets.
Prior to the 2015 season, McCloughan used the ample cap space available to the…