The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

NFL agents name Redskins’ Bruce Allen league’s least-trusted executive in anonymous poll

Some agents don’t trust Redskins President Bruce Allen. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)
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So much for winning off the field. Redskins President Bruce Allen is the least-trusted decision-maker in the NFL, according to an unscientific USA Today Sports poll of 25 NFL player agents. The agents surveyed, who represent a very small sample of the 800-plus agents certified by the NFL Players Association, answered a variety of questions under the condition of anonymity because, well, they may have to deal with front office executives such as Allen in the future.

Dolphins executive VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, Broncos GM John Elway and Bengals owner Mike Brown were among the other names agents mentioned in response to the question, “Which NFL decision-maker do you trust the least?”

‘Super agents’ rep 75 percent of NFL players. It’s a competitive fight to sign the rest.

“You never know if he’s shooting straight with you,” one agent told USA Today Sports of Allen. The Redskins are 52-75-1 in eight seasons since they hired him.

On the other end of the spectrum, longtime Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome was voted the most respected decision-maker, followed by Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and Seahawks GM John Schneider.

A lack of trust isn’t agents’s only issue with Allen, according to USA Today’s poll. On the subject of the teams best and worst prepared for contract negotiations, the Redskins ranked third-worst behind the Bengals and Browns. (The poll was conducted before the Browns, who have won one game over the past two seasons, fired Sashi Brown and replaced him with former Chiefs GM John Dorsey in December.) The 49ers, Eagles, Patriots, Broncos and Packers were voted the most prepared. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that two of those teams appeared in this year’s Super Bowl.

The Redskins want to focus on wins and losses. You sure about that, guys?

Earlier this week,’s Gregg Rosenthal ranked the league’s top decision-makers, excluding the six general managers hired since January 2017 who lacked previous experience as a GM. Allen ranked 25th out of 26, ahead of only Bears GM Ryan Pace.

“The power structure in Washington has Allen at the top as president, with senior VP of player personnel Doug Williams and coach Jay Gruden also in the mix,” Rosenthal writes. “The team’s handling of Kirk Cousins’ contract situation — not to mention Allen’s pronunciation of his quarterback’s name — raised a lot of eyebrows. Allen hired former GM Scot McCloughan in 2015, then fired him two years later on the eve of free agency. When he worked with Jon Gruden in Tampa, Allen and Gruden’s enduring love of veterans kept the Bucs stuck in the NFL’s middle class. That’s where this Redskins roster also resides.”

As recently as January 2017, Fox Sports ranked Washington’s front office as the NFL’s 13th-best. Two months later, the team fired McCloughan.

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