Pierre Garcon has a 3,000-mile buffer to help him speak his mind after signing a big-money deal to leave the dysfunction in Washington and help the San Francisco 49ers rebuild.
Even though the veteran receiver would probably like to put everything that happened with the Redskins in the rear-view mirror and begin the next chapter of his career, Garcon is savvy enough to realize that he’s going to get questions about the feud between Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen and now-deposed general manager Scot McCloughan.
And like a lot of people who were around the Redskins last season, Garcon disputes the organization’s version of what went on with McCloughan, namely the spin peddled by Allen surrogates that his former underling was disliked by many and admitted issues with alcohol again bubbled to the surface.
The most serious accusations leaked to the Washington Post claimed McCloughan showed up drunk in the locker room on more than one occasion, something Garcon could serve as an expert witness for obviously.
“No, I never really did,” Garcon told PFT Live when asked if he ever saw his former GM stumbling around the locker room.
Although it wasn’t an outright rejection of the accusations, it came as close as possible.
“Scot, he’s not a vocal guy,” Garcon continued. “He’s a quiet guy, he kind of stays to himself but when he starts talking to you, you can tell the passion and love he has, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drunk. I’ve never seen him act any kind of way to make me even question that he was drunk.”
One of the actual reporters of the Washington Post’s story, Mike Jones, confirmed to FanRagSports.com via Twitter that Allen refused to confirm or deny the alcohol allegations, presumably in an attempt to keep his name as far way from the charges as possible.
This wasn’t Mark Felt-level maneuvering, however, as it’s self-evident which side of the fence the accusations came from, and if Allen truly didn’t want his fingerprints on them, he would have simply picked up the phone or e-mailed Jones to clarify that the allegations weren’t true.
His silence spoke volumes, as did the fact that he eventually fired McCloughan while intimating he was disliked by many in the organization, something Garcon also denied, at least from the players’ standpoint.
“I know all the players did love Scot,” Garcon said. “Scot was a great guy, a football guy, all the players loved Scot and definitely [are] going to miss him. Hopefully, he’ll still be around football because he was a great guy. He was all about football. It didn’t matter who you were, where you were from, he was just happy that you were playing football for him and he was happy that he scouted you and for him to bring you to D.C.”
The “football guy” tag was the issue here.
And it’s one that often causes friction in front-office marriages. In the NFC East alone, it’s what caused the divorce of Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson in Dallas many years ago and more recently Jeffrey Lurie’s ping-ponging in Philadelphia between Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly and back again.
Now, it’s ruined another relationship as Allen and McClougan were once very close friends intent on bringing a championship inside the beltway. Instead, one (Allen) became resentful when the other (McCloughan) was given the lion’s share of the credit as the roster rebuild was taking shape.
And now we know, the Redskins mess was just an old story with new characters.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen Also catch John each week during the NFL season ESPN South Jersey, ESPN Southwest Florida, ESPN Lexington, CBS Baltimore, KDWN in Las Vegas, and check @JFMcMullen for John’s upcoming appearances on SB Nation Radio, FOX Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio as well as dozens of local radio stations across North America.