Less than 24 hours after firing general manager Scot McCloughan, the Washington Redskins remained active on multiple fronts, including identifying potential candidates to fill their new front-office vacancy.
On the same day quarterback Kirk Cousins signed his franchise player tender and big-target wide receiver Terrelle Pryor signed a one-year contract to help fill the void left by departing 1,000-yard receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, multiple sources confirmed the team is considering hiring NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock as Washington’s next general manager.
Mayock, 58, a former safety for the New York Giants, is a familiar face to ardent NFL fans who follow the NFL Scouting Combine and NFL draft each spring, providing detailed on-air analysis of the prospects.
ESPN first reported Washington’s interest in Mayock, and three different people confirmed the team’s interest to The Post. According to two sources, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is an admirer of Mayock’s work on NFL Network.
It wasn’t clear when or whether Mayock would actually interview, however. On Friday afternoon, he released a statement saying in part that there had been “no official contact between myself and the team and no interviews about the job.”
Former Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik also is reportedly a person of interest for Washington. Dominik worked under Redskins team President Bruce Allen in Tampa when Allen held the title of general manager there from 2003 to 2008.
Some NFL insiders view Redskins senior personnel executive Doug Williams as Washington’s top internal candidate, and college scouting director Scott Campbell and pro scouting director Alex Santos also could receive consideration.
The leader of the diversity group that works with the NFL on its minority hiring practices said he endorsed Williams.
“It is my hope that they will elevate Doug Williams to the position,” John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said in a phone interview. “He’s qualified. He’s prepared. I think he would be perfect for the position.”
Williams previously worked in the front office for Tampa Bay and was a head coach in college at Grambling State University.
As of Friday, however, the Redskins weren’t believed to have set up any official interviews for the position.
Meanwhile, Cousins did make it official, signing the franchise player tender that Washington extended to him Feb. 28.
By doing so, Cousins locks in the guarantee of the one-year salary of $24 million owed to him as a quarterback playing on the franchise tag for a second straight year. Last season, Washington used the non-exclusive tag to retain Cousins’s services and he signed the deal the very next day, locking in a salary of $19.95 million.
Washington used the exclusive tag this year to prevent Cousins from being able to shop himself to other teams in hopes of soliciting a trade. Cousins didn’t immediately sign the tender, however, while he and his agent reviewed all of their options.
The Redskins still could trade Cousins, and if they were to trade Cousins, it’s expected it would take place between now and April’s draft, with Washington’s leverage increasing the closer teams get to the draft.
However, the Redskins have yet to give the quarterback any indication that they intend to do so. Coach Jay Gruden and Allen both say they hope to work out a long-term deal. A person familiar with the team’s deliberations said Cousins’s signing of the franchise tender did nothing to change the plans of Redskins brass.
They have until July 15 to complete a long-term contract, and if unsuccessful, Cousins will play on the franchise tag for the 2017 season and then become a free agent in 2018.
Washington could use the franchise tag on Cousins a third year, but that means a pay jump to roughly $35 million. Such a move seems unlikely. The Redskins could, however, use the transition tag (guaranteed salary of $28 million) so they have right of first refusal. But the Redskins wouldn’t get any compensation from another team if Cousins signed elsewhere and they declined to match.
Cousins is coming off his second season as a starter, and in 2016 broke his own single-season franchise passing record as he threw for just under 5,000 yards while recording 25 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.
At this point, numerous NFL insiders expect Cousins to play out the franchise tag this season. And if he does, he will have a new weapon in Pryor.
Pryor, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract, doesn’t have the track record that Jackson and Garcon possess, but it’s hard to ignore the impressive season Pryor had in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns. The quarterback-turned-wide receiver recorded 77 catches for 1,007 yards last year with Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Cody Kessler as his quarterbacks. Pryor, 27, recorded one of his four touchdown receptions in Week 4 against the Redskins at FedEx Field.
With Pryor’s addition and the anticipated healthy return of Josh Doctson, who missed all but two games as a rookie, the Redskins suddenly have plenty of big-target pass catchers. Pryor stands 6 feet 4; Doctson, tight end Jordan Reed and backup wide receiver Maurice Harris are all 6-2; and tight end Vernon Davis is 6-3. That additional size could help improve a red-zone offense that ranked among the worst in the NFL last season.
Mark Maske contributed to this report.