The Washington Football Team began a front office overhaul last season but was unable to fully remake the hierarchy in Ron Rivera’s first offseason as a head coach, launched just before the pandemic.
More structural changes are coming to football operations this season, with VP of player personnel Kyle Smith no longer in line to be the top person overseeing the roster, and with former NFL general managers Marty Hurney and Martin Mayhew both strong candidates to rejoin the organization in some capacity, league sources said. Hurney began his scouting career with Washington in the heyday of the Joe Gibbs Super Bowl era, and he remains very well-liked and respected by many in that building. He also shared a very strong working relationship for years in Carolina with Rivera; Rivera was let go by the Panthers last year and Hurney was let go last week.
Hurney has strong support from Gibbs, who remains a key confidant for Snyder, and his reputation for maximizing first-round picks and building a roster is top notch. Hurney could very well be a candidate for other GM openings, as could Mayhew, who previously was a GM in Detroit, though several league sources said they could both end up back in Washington as well. Mayhew, currently a personnel exec with the 49ers, won a Super Bowl as a player in Washington under Gibbs, and is also well regarded by many of Washington’s decision makers. Mayhew has been preparing for potential GM interviews.
Rivera came to the WFT on the heels of Snyder finally parting with long-time team president Bruce Allen, with the organization reimagining its broadcasting and corporate structure this offseason and bringing in Jason Wright to eventually replace Allen, during the season. Making all of the changes in 2020 was never going to be realistic, especially with Rivera also battling cancer and the team mired in a renaming campaign and dealing with an NFL investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. The team also cut ties with several personnel executives and others shortly before training camp due to allegations against them by current and former employees, and not all of those positions were filled before the season as well.
There will be considerable changes coming in 2021 as well, with football operations a key focus.