Mike Holmgren once told Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to ‘bring it’

(John Froschauer / AP file photo) (John Froschauer / AP file photo)

While talking about the Redskins last week, former NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren got to talking about his own personal history with Daniel Snyder.

Now, this is about as old as an old Dan Snyder story can get, but it’s new to me. It takes place back in the winter of 2000, around the time the Cowboys traded two No.-1 draft picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway. And parts of the story have been reported before.

Here’s how Richard Justice wrote about it in the Houston Chronicle the following fall:

Snyder hasn’t limited his temper to those on his payroll, either. He telephoned Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on draft day to say he didn’t think much of his chief rival’s selections.

And when Snyder believed Seattle coach Mike Holmgren had double-crossed him by trading receiver Joey Galloway to the Cowboys instead of the Redskins, he telephoned Holmgren to scream his displeasure.

And here’s how Paul Attner described it in The Sporting News around the same time:

The same man who has given millions to a local children’s hospital as thanks for helping him and his wife through two difficult pregnancies is the same guy who threatened to fire an employee for calling him “Dan” instead of “Mr. Snyder”; who reportedly bullied a hotel clerk at a league meeting for not producing the suite he wanted; who, according to the critical Snyder gossip circulating in the league, rudely dismissed Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. upon their first introduction and spoke angrily, and threateningly, on separate occasions to Mike Holmgren and Jerry Jones when he thought they slighted him in his bid to trade for receiver Joey Galloway. Snyder heatedly denies any such ill behavior, and the other principals either can’t recall the rumored conversations or say their talks with him have always been in a friendly, kidding manner.

Well, if the “other principals” weren’t talking 14 years ago, that statute of limitations has run out. So here’s Holmgren, talking to Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler on Sports Radio KJR last week.

“Do you know Dan Snyder at all?” Mahler asked knowingly.

“Yeah, I do, as a matter of fact,” Holmgren said.

“Isn’t there a story?” Mahler asked. “There’s a story with you and him?”

“Yeah there is,” Holmgren said, and then dished.

“Joey Galloway, I gave him the exclusive tag, and so we were trying to make a trade,” Holmgren began. “So I talked to the Redskins, and I talked to Dallas, and I told both teams, I said ‘Listen, I’m not gonna monkey around with this.’ I said ‘You give me your best offer, I’ll listen to you, and I’ll listen to you and then I’ll make the deal. Whoever gives me the best thing.’

“And so Jerry Jones said I’ll give you two ones. And Washington — Vinny Cerrato at the time — said I’ll give you this. And so I went with Jerry. And so I got a call. The first time I talked to Dan. And he goes ‘That’s not how you negotiate!’ I said, ‘Well, you know, that’s how I decided to do it. And I’m sorry.

“And then he just goes off. He goes ‘I know you and Jerry Jones are friends, you sit on the Competition Committee, blah blah blah.’ He goes off. And so I said ‘Hey, relax, would you’ I said ‘You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’m thinking.’ He goes ‘Hey, I’m a new owner, I plan to be in this a long time, and WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND! I said, ‘Bring it.’ I said ‘Bring it.’

“But no, we had this big thing for a while. And then when his wife contracted cancer, and he knew Kathy had breast cancer, we flipped, and we became I don’t want to say buddies, but it was really a change in the relationship. But those first couple of years, no, he was mad.”

“Did you really say bring it?” Mahler asked.

“No, I said some other stuff that I’m not too proud of,” Holmgren replied. “And I’ve since matured, and I’m really much more careful with my language.”

So that was the feud between Mike Holmgren and Dan Snyder. Incidentally, our own Mark Maske reported a few months before the Galloway-to-Dallas deal that the Redskins were major suitors.

The Redskins tried since training camp to make a high-impact trade, and were willing to give the Seattle Seahawks first- and third-round draft picks for holdout wide receiver Joey Galloway. Snyder did not discuss specific deals but said he would have liked to have made a major acquisition.

“I would have loved to have traded a number one,” he said. “There were several players who would have helped our organization get better. We still have three number ones and we’ll look to do something with those, whether it’s using all of them in the draft or trading after the season. We will do what’s in the best interests of the Redskins.”

 

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg · May 26, 2014

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