New Executive Candidates for Redskins Emerge?

Chris Russell

A few new names have emerged in the last 24 hours or so that I had not heard when it comes to a connection to the Redskins, so now seems like the perfect time to stoke the flames a bit. 

We still don't know if Kyle Smith received a contract extension as part of his promotion to Vice President of Player Personnel. 

My sense is that he did not, but I want to be clear - that's only a sense. 

If he did not, he's only under contract until June 2021 which does cover two free agent classes and two draft classes under the current arrangement that he agreed to several months ago in the form of a one-year rollover.

Smith was cautious to sign the deal, partially because of the politics involved inside the building at the time. 

Even if he did sign an extension, my sense (and others) is that it would not preclude the Redskins from adding another executive to the mix, either in the form of a general manager or a President of Football Operations title or even a Senior Vice President of Football Operations role - a position title that was vacated by Eric Schaffer's departure.

With that as our set-up: Albert Breer of the MMQB connected the dots in his reporting on this in the MMQB on Monday -- when he mentioned he contract situation of general manager Rick Spielman from the Minnesota Vikings.

"The Vikings’ handling of the contract situations of GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer will be interesting in the coming months," Breer wrote. "There’d been rumors floating around that the Redskins were preparing for a run at Spielman, maybe after the draft. (Spielman and Rivera were actually together with the Bears in the 1990s.)"

Spielman, brother of FOX broadcaster Chris, worked with Ron Rivera in Chicago with the Bears when Spielman was in charge of Chicago's pro personnel department from 1997-99

Rivera was a defensive quality control coach in '97 and '98. 

Boom. I'm not sure if Spielman is under contract beyond May of this year, but if he's not -- then it's possible the Redskins could swoop in. It's theoretically possible that if the Redskins were to offer Spielman a President title that the Vikings would essentially be obligated to let Spielman talk officially with Washington. His title in Minnesota only comes with the general manager designation, so Breer could very much be on to something here. 

How ironic would it be if the Redskins hired the guy that signed Kirk Cousins to the contract the Redskins not only wouldn't, but very much created?

The other name that has been floated around in the last day or so is this:

Morocco Brown has been discussed in this space and would be an excellent hire. I love Roc and even though I heard that he was "too good" for the Redskins per one source, I can't rule it out. 

I have not only not heard Ryan Cowden's name, but I've never heard of him until today, if I am being completely honest.

He is currently serving as the Tennessee Titans Vice President of Player Personnel, so obviously he would only come here for a title above that and he could be in luck. The Redskins have plenty of room.

From Cowden's Titans bio: "He joined the Titans in 2016 after 16 years with the Carolina Panthers. In Carolina, Cowden last held the title of Assistant Director of College Scouting, a position he held for two years. Prior to that role, he served as the team's National Scout/Senior College Scout for two years (2012-14) and was a national scout from 2008-12."

Cowden worked for several years with Rivera and as long as they have a strong relationship, he should clearly be a potential candidate. 

You could add these two names into the hopper to go along with Marty Hurney, Joe Schoen, Dan Morgan and possibly a secret candidate. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621. 


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