Washington Football Team Gameday Nuggets
Good morning Washington Football Fans!
It's gameday and the Washington Football Team looks to become the apple of the NFL's eye with a 2-0 start today at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
1. In case you missed it (how could you?), the WFT flew to Arizona on Friday and made a few roster moves Saturday with the expanded practice squad/53 roster rules.
It's the second week in a row that Sims has been elevated from the practice squad for Washington.
However there is an issue moving forward with the evolving rules for 2020 as Jordan Asri points out.
As for Jared Norris, he was with Rivera and most of this coaching/personnel staff in Carolina and quite honestly, with Reuben Foster being put on I-R, I thought he was going to make the initial 53.
He did not but was signed back to the practice squad the next day. With Cole Holcomb out and Thomas Davis a game time decision, this was an easy move.
2. Kyle Smith NOT with team in Arizona
The NFL has mandated much smaller traveling parties for their teams this year. The last number I heard was 70, which doesn't allow for many extra people on the trip when you factor in 55 players and then the coaching staff.
One executive that did not make the trip because of the squeeze from what sources told me was Kyle Smith, the Washington Football Team Senior VP of Player Personnel.
Team President Jason Wright also did not make the trip and others were a victim of flight and space limitations.
This might not be significant but in a world where messages are sent directly and indirectly all of the time, I wonder where Smith's future lies in the organization.
There was a lot of talk and reports about Ron Rivera naming a General Manager after the draft. It did not happen. When asked about Smith specifically, he kicked the football upstairs to Dan Snyder.
Make no mistake about it. Smith was promoted once already in January after Rivera took over, so perhaps a second promotion was not necessary in Rivera and Snyder's eyes but it does leave the door open for a few things.
Could Rivera bring in his own GM this offseason? Marty Hurney might be available from Carolina. Joe Schoen from Buffalo has been a name mentioned.
What about Rob Rogers as an in-house promotion? I've heard that he has grown in influence behind the scenes in his nine months in Washington and obviously Rivera is more than familiar/comfortable with him.
Sources described Rogers as privately disappointed that he wasn't seriously considered for the President position that went to Jason Wright, but that doesn't mean a General Manager position is out of the question, per sources.
One thing I would point out on the whole front office structure is this: The NFL stands for Not For Long in a lot of cases and Smith has been in Washington since 2010.
He's recognized by many in the scouting and league community as a bright young mind with experience and 'chops.'
In a lot of ways, he's a chip off the old block, the son of A.J. Smith, who had a hell of a run with the Chargers organization as their GM.
You talk to people around the league and they love the younger Smith. I know Jay Gruden thinks very highly of him. Sean McVay does as well. Mike Shanahan is still a very, very influential voice in NFL circles and a strong recommendation from Shanahan counts.
If Smith does not get the GM position offered to him, I'm marking him good as gone and it might not even take longer than January for that to happen.
Here's the rub: Even if Smith gets offered the position, there's no guarantee he would take it. He knows that Ron Rivera has complete final say of the football operations and any rising executive wants to have some juice.
If you're Smith - a situation like Jacksonville might make sense. Chicago would as well and perhaps the New York Giants or Jets depending on what happens in their situations. The Rams is one team I would keep an eye on.
In other words, he has a lot of leverage. Maybe more than Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera realize.
Happy (for now) Gameday Washington Football Team Fans!
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Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621