After a decade filled with embarrassment, let down, dysfunction, and even a few bright spots here and there, Dan Snyder made the change that Redskins fans had longed for.
Bruce Allen was relieved of his duties. The announcement was made via social media early on the NFL’s notorious “Black Monday”, a day on which organizations looking to make major changes inform coaches and general managers their services are no longer needed. Washington Redskins fans woke up to the following statement.
Statement by Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) December 30, 2019
The clock had finally struck midnight on one of the most baffling front office structures in the sport. The evil emperor had fallen. While this move comes years later than it should’ve, the fact that it came at all is remarkable. Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder were at one point, inseparable. From office golf, to long discussions post-game at FedEx Field, Bruce was the right-hand man for Snyder through thick and thin. Until he wasn’t.
Speculation began early in 2019, after the Redskins had fallen to 0-5 on the season and fired head coach Jay Gruden, that Allen’s seat may have been beginning to heat up. Washington couldn’t afford another lost season, and certainly couldn’t afford to have one and pretend everything was fine. The stadium was empty, the ratings were horrendous, and the team couldn’t post anything on social media without its replies being bombarded by comments of #FireBruceAllen, a hashtag that would go down in infamy. With every loss, the heat was turned up and eventually we reached a point of no return.
It came out a few weeks ago that Dan Snyder had began consulting with an outside group of people to assist in the direction of the franchise post-Week 17. This included the head coaching search, something that Allen surely would’ve been apart of if he was to return in 2020. We now know he was not part of those meetings, and had even seemingly been exiled by the owner. Little things from Dan and Bruce told us this: from no longer walking to practice together, to Alex Smith replacing Allen in the hours of reflection in Snyder’s box at FedEx after games, the writing was on the wall.
Reports began to surface of people within the organization that Bruce had reached the end of the road, and yet, until it happened, it felt hard to believe. After all, Allen had survived 3-13 before; a sinking ship never phased him, as he constantly found a new scapegoat and managed to survive firings that should’ve been him. On Saturday, it all came to a head when it was reported that Allen was going to be removed from running football operations following the team’s season finale in Dallas. However, the rumblings of Bruce remaining with the organization were striking fear into the hearts of Redskins fans. But a telling video of Snyder and Allen surfaced after the 47-16 loss on Sunday, and it told us everything we needed to know.
Ships passing in the night. Bruce Allen goes to the locker room as Dan Snyder gets in his car to leave AT&T Stadium. pic.twitter.com/QtHygt07MZ
— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) December 30, 2019
At this moment, it became clear that Allen had completely fallen out of favor, and that his time had run out in Washington. On Monday, everything was finalized. With Bruce Allen gone, what’s next?