January 07, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Redskins on Wednesday were working on the final details of a deal to hire Scot McCloughan as general manager, a move that marks a major shift in front-office philosophy under owner Dan Snyder after 16 years of mostly losing seasons.

McCloughan and the Redskins were close to an agreement after two days of negotiations.

McCloughan, a former executive with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, would give the Redskins something akin to a traditional structure for the first time under Snyder - a highly respected talent evaluator independent of the head coach to lead the team through free agency and the draft.

McCloughan's arrival means Bruce Allen would be stripped of the GM title, although Allen would remain team president.

Unable to find the right front-office formula, the Redskins have suffered through a wilderness of poor draft picks and unwise free agency signings for more than a decade and have finished in last place in the NFC East in six of the past seven seasons.

Vinny Cerrato was Snyder's right-hand man for many years, and Snyder himself was hands-on in the player selection process at various times.

Coaches Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan had greater influence, but all three are better known for winning games rather than picking the players who play them.

Allen worked with Shanahan for four seasons, then was given final say over the roster after Shanahan was fired a year ago. The Redskins again had a lackluster draft and free agency in 2014 and finished 4-12, making their record 28-52 during Allen's five full seasons. Allen did not have a strong reputation as a player-personnel manager when he came to Washington, but he said last week it wasn't too much on his plate to serve as both president and GM.

McCloughan is credited with helping craft championship-level rosters with the 49ers (2005-09) and Seahawks (2010-13), including the two seasons he served as San Francisco's GM. But he left both teams due to personal reasons and spent last season as a private consultant to NFL teams.

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AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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