The Washington Redskins shook up their front office Thursday, replacing senior vice president of football operations Eric Schaffer with former Carolina Panthers executive Rob Rogers while reassigning Doug Williams to a different department.
Williams, who was the senior vice president of player personnel, will have a new role as senior vice president of player development. He will report directly to new coach Ron Rivera.
Schaffer, the team’s leading contract negotiator, served as Bruce Allen’s No. 2 over the past decade and had been with the Redskins since 2003. Schaffer and the Redskins mutually parted ways as the team brought in Rogers, who will be “senior vice president of football administration.”
“I want to thank Eric Schaffer for his work and contributions over the past 17 years. He was dedicated to the team and the organization and we wish him all the best,” Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.
The moves mark the latest in a series of changes for the Redskins’ front office. After the season, owner Dan Snyder said Washington needed a culture change and fired his team president, Allen. Later in the week, the Redskins hired coach Ron Rivera, who is also expected to have significant say over personnel decisions.
Upon Rivera’s hiring, speculation emerged about Schaffer potentially assuming a bigger role in Allen’s absence. But that soon came into question, as there were conflicting reports over whether the executive had been fired. Schaffer told multiple outlets that he was still employed, but Pro Football Talk later added the executive was set to depart the Redskins in May.
The split between the two sides, however, turned out to come before then.
“While I will miss the players, my friends, colleagues, and the tremendous Washington Redskins’ fans, my family and I are excited for our next chapter,” Schaffer said in a press release, thanking Snyder.
As for Schaffer’s replacement, Rogers is the latest person to join the Redskins from the Panthers. Since his arrival, most of Rivera’s hires have been people he worked with in Carolina, where the 58-year-old spent eight-plus seasons as coach.
Rogers had been with the Panthers since 1995 in a variety of roles, most recently promoted to director of finance last May.
“Rob Rogers is a skilled NFL executive who brings many years of valuable experience in contract negotiation and salary cap management to our front office,” Snyder said. “He has a great working relationship with Coach Rivera and we look forward to his contributions to the Redskins.”
Schaffer was with the Redskins for 17 seasons. He was responsible for managing the salary cap and taking the lead on drawing up contracts. In addition to his roles in the front office, he also served as the team’s general counsel — helping them sort through legal matters.
Schaffer earned multiple promotions throughout his tenure with the Redskins. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2017, months after the dismissal of former general manager Scot McCloughan.
Williams, meanwhile, will now help create an “atmosphere all about the players,” Rivera said. The former Super Bowl-winning quarterback will work closely with senior director of player development Malcolm Blacken.
“I’ve had a chance to talk at length with Doug Williams since my arrival and he is ready to take on this new role,” Rivera said. “Doug will be an invaluable asset in player development in making sure that all of our players have the guidance and resources needed to be successful on and off the field.”
Though Allen and Schaffer are gone, the Redskins’ changes in the front office most likely aren’t done, either.
The team is expected to hire a general manager after the draft in April, which could lead to the dismissal of other executives and scouts. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick and Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown are two rumored candidates for the GM vacancy, with both men having worked for Washington in the past.
• Matthew Paras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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