The Washington Redskins have reduced their scouting budget as part of new owner Daniel Snyder's streamlining of the organization.
Vinny Cerrato, the former San Francisco 49ers executive hired by Snyder to be the Redskins' director of player personnel, said today he virtually has completed a reorganization of the team's scouting department. The Redskins' new system is modeled after the 49ers', Cerrato said, and includes having college scouts drive to games instead of traveling by air.
"It's a change in philosophy," Cerrato said. "It's not cutting back. . . . That's the way we did it in San Francisco. It makes more sense."
Joe Mendes, a career scout who has been the Redskins' director of player development, will be in charge of contract negotiations, Cerrato said.
College scout Scott Cohen, who left the Redskins for the Jacksonville Jaguars, will not be replaced. According to Cerrato, that leaves the Redskins with seven college scouts -- still one more than he had with the 49ers -- and two professional scouts. Each of the Redskins' college scouts will be assigned to a section of the country, Cerrato said.
Other changes, Cerrato said, will be that the Redskins' college and pro scouts will use the same grading system for players, and coaches will be included in the team's scouting meetings.
Team officials declined to specify how much money the new system will save. "It's a very organized, detailed system," Cerrato said. "Money is not even an issue. We're going to have everybody on the same page and everybody involved in the decisions."
Cerrato said all that remains to be done in the remaking of the scouting department is computerizing it.
"We have everybody up and running now," Cerrato said. "We just have to get the computer guy up and running."
The Redskins have three first-round selections in next April's draft, although they have been considering trading at least one before the upcoming season.