Scot McCloughan has turned his popularity into a vehicle to help a foundation run by the team that fired him.
The former Washington Redskins general manager, at the suggestion of his wife, is auctioning off items on eBay that he wore during his two years with the team, including an autographed camo hat. He was photographed in that hat on several occasions, often during training camp.
The Redskins fired McCloughan on March 9 after an offseason of tension, according to multiple reports. The move enraged fans, many of whom were incensed when team officials anonymously blamed it on his drinking issues to The Washington Post. The Washington fan base largely saw his January 2015 hiring as one that would help the Redskins return to prominence. In his two years as general manager, the Redskins won a combined 17 games, though that success stemmed from a variety of factors, including the ascendance of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Some of McCloughan's moves paid off, such as drafting Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff and wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Some did not: His first free-agent class was all gone after the first season, and the last free-agent signing was cut this offseason.
Still McCloughan was a popular figure and remained a symbol of hope for a franchise that has not won more than 10 games in a season since 1991. Since winning the Super Bowl that season, the Redskins have won just three playoff games; they had won that number of Super Bowls in the previous 10 years.
The bidding on McCloughan's auctioned items reflects his popularity. The latest bid Monday morning for the camo hat was $410. A second autographed hat that he had worn twice, according to a description of the item, had received a bid of $175.51. Radio station 106.7 The Fan first mentioned on its website that McCloughan's items were up for auction, citing a tweet by his wife Friday.
The McCloughans will donate the money to the Redskins Charitable Foundation. Jessica McCloughan told The Washington Post that: "When it's all said and done, Scot and I are still grateful that we were able to come here, so why not give back to the people that brought us here."
Jessica McCloughan told ESPN it wasn't a hard choice to support the Redskins' charitable foundation.
"I had first hand experience with the foundation while I was here so I know how much they help people and kids specifically," McCloughan said in a direct message.
They also put one of McCloughan's jackets up for bid, with proceeds going to Northern Virginia Family Services. It's a tan suit -- which his wife described on the site as "luxurious dijon mustard/tan color" -- that McCloughan wore during many Redskins games. The description states that former San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan bought the jacket for him in 2005 because McCloughan didn't have a suit. The bid on eBay as of Monday morning: $70. Yes, he's willing to autograph that, too.
Team president Bruce Allen said there's been no decision on how the Redskins will replace McCloughan. They could retain the status quo and not promote anyone in-house or hire an outsider. They will start the process in earnest over the next week. By that time, the McCloughans will be finalizing the bids on the hats -- and preparing to donate a chunk of money to his former team.