Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, a onetime Redskins defensive coordinator, is also being considered along with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, several people with knowledge of the situation said.
Whoever the new coach is, it appears increasingly likely he won’t be reporting to Allen. Several people with knowledge of the situation said Allen will move to a different role inside the organization, one that probably will involve overseeing the building of a new stadium — one of Snyder’s highest priorities.
Allen’s potential replacement on the football side remains unclear. One possibility, according to at least one person familiar with the situation, is former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. That person said Meyer could be under consideration for a front office role; several other people around the team have stressed Meyer is not a candidate for the coaching job.
Multiple people said former Redskins executive and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick is a strong candidate for the GM’s job. Riddick did not respond to requests for comment.
Allen, the son of legendary Redskins coach George Allen, has been GM or president for the past 10 years, a period in which Washington has gone 62-96-1 and been mired in controversies such as his battles with former coach Mike Shanahan, the firings of general manager Scot McCloughan and business executive Brian Lafemina and the deterioration of the team’s fan base.
In October, Allen was the one to announce the firing of coach Jay Gruden. But as the season has lurched toward Sunday’s finale at the Dallas Cowboys with the Redskins 3-12, Snyder has distanced himself some from the man who has been his closest adviser. In recent weeks, Snyder has met with several people around football seeking advice about ways to turn around his team. Some of these meetings have occurred without Allen present, people with knowledge of the situation said.
One person with knowledge of the Redskins’ thinking called Rivera “a strong possibility” for the coach’s job. It is not known how extensive conversations between Rivera and the Redskins have been. He was not available to comment, and his agent did not respond to a request for comment.
Panthers owner David Tepper dismissed Rivera on Dec. 3, with Carolina’s record at 5-7 after a loss at home to the Redskins. Rivera is a respected coach who led the Panthers to the playoffs four times in his first seven seasons after being hired in 2011. Quarterback Cam Newton was named the league’s MVP during a 2015 season in which the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl before losing to the Denver Broncos.
Carolina returned to the playoffs in the 2017 season but lost in the opening round. The Panthers missed the playoffs last season after a 6-2 start, finishing with seven losses in their final eight games. They missed the playoffs again this season, with Newton sidelined much of the season with a foot injury.
The Redskins and Panthers are the only NFL teams that have coaching vacancies. But other teams are expected to fire coaches after Sunday’s close to the regular season. Rivera, 57, is expected to draw interest from those teams — and if the Giants were to make such a move, many around the league suggested Rivera could be interested in a reunion with Gettleman.
Lewis, 61, spent this season out of the NFL after being ousted by the Bengals following the 2018 season. Lewis served as a special adviser at Arizona State, working under former NFL coach Herman Edwards.
Lewis has a relationship with Snyder, having worked for the team as the defensive coordinator for then-coach Steve Spurrier in 2002. Lewis also had success with the Bengals, taking them to the playoffs seven times in his 16 seasons in Cincinnati.
He and quarterback Andy Dalton were criticized for failing to secure a single postseason victory. But it’s a franchise that had gone 12 seasons without a playoff appearance when Lewis arrived in 2003. This season, the Bengals have gone 1-14 under Lewis’s successor, Zac Taylor.
Bieniemy, who helped groom Patrick Mahomes into last season’s MVP with the Chiefs, would require Snyder to delay any hiring should the Redskins decide on the Kansas City offensive coordinator. The Chiefs (11-4) are in the mix for a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, and the Redskins would have to wait until his window of availability during the postseason, under NFL rules, to interview him. He could not be hired until the Chiefs are eliminated.
Maske reported from Washington.
Read more on the NFL and the Redskins: