Vinny Cerrato and his life after the Redskins

By Mike Wise
Monday, March 14, 2011; 2:08 PM


More than a half-hour north of Baltimore, hard off I-95, down a gravel road, up a hill and to the left, sits a pristinely manicured 71/2-acre spread, eight minutes away from his good buddy and NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.

Below the red brick, neo-colonial estate is a marked-off football field, where boys' names are still legible in the end zone.

"I put 'Vincent' in one end zone and 'Charlie' in the other,' " Vinny Cerrato says, referring to his two sons, who are downstairs in the basement with their little sister, Rachel, doing homework. "Pretty nice place, huh?"

This is the house your Adam Archuleta jersey and Gray-Lot parking bought. This is the house Vinny lives in.

This is where - 14 months after Daniel Snyder jettisoned his long-time right-hand man, firing Cerrato as the Redskins' executive vice president of football operations and paving the way for the Bruce Allen-Mike Shanahan regime - Vinny Cerrato ended up.

Some 100 miles from Ashburn, near Mercy Hospital, where his wife Becky is a foot-and-ankle surgeon, near grocery stores and restaurants, people don't recognize the wide-eyed man with the high-pitched cackle as the guy who did Snyder's bidding for the better part of a decade.

It's a virtual witness protection program for Redskins executives who know too much.

"It was like Mayberry RFD when I first got here," Cerrato says. "I go out here, walk around, it's great - they don't even know who I am."

There is a movie theater, workout and memorabilia rooms in a basement that stretches forever, all the amenities imaginable - "Went to the big-screen store and they said if you buy a 73-inch, you get a 42-incher free," Cerrato says. "Had to do it."

He is breaking down film today like he does every day, from 8:20 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the kids get off the school bus. He has written charts on every potential draftee in Mead stenograph binder notebooks. "I did 140 guys, now I just got 80 to go," he says, gleefully.

Cerrato does this pro bono, because he is currently working for no one.

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