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Who is tending shop?

There is a recurring and often times contentious debate among Redskins fans of who is in charge of personnel decisions. One camp says Joe Gibbs has total control through veto power as Team President on matters of personnel. Cynics argue that Dan Snyder, who by all indications isn't a Football guy, enjoys a large degree of control. Sporting News agrees with the cynics:

Even though Joe Gibbs supposedly is making the Redskins' personnel decisions, it was obvious at the NFL meetings last week that owner Dan Snyder remains heavily involved. Washington's flirtation with Bears LB Lance Briggs was the result of a late-night hotel bar conversation between Snyder and Drew Rosenhaus, Briggs' agent. The next day, Gibbs seemed a lot less enthusiastic than Snyder about the potential deal.
I tend to agree with that reckoning given what went down last week. By all indications Dan Snyder invented the Redskins terms of the deal. If you are confident of Joe Gibbs' handle on this team, you'd likely reach the conclusion that Gibbs was informed of the trade and at a minimum signed off on it. Even if we grant that fact, it remains a strange means of determining trade value. Presumably, winning teams discuss at great length internally whether a trade makes sense for the team. Then, hopefully, they take their concerns to the people in the organization responsible for contracts and payments. These persons would use the scouting reports from the personnel guys, with the Coaches, and the owner (but just to inform them; owners are not and should not be involved in personnel decisions), to decide on reasonable terms of a trade. If the process is working well, there are enough competent Football people involved so that, should the decision be boneheaded, someone can put the quietus on the deal.

Nothing indicates that the Redskins process trades like that. Dan Snyder thought of a trade, took it to Joe Gibbs. The cynic would point out that we don't actually know how willingly Joe Gibbs accepted the trade. Nothing he's said publicly has instilled in me that Joe Gibbs likes this trade. The word he used to describe it last week was "unlikely". Unless some reader(s) can inform me otherwise, I've not heard him speak publicly about how much the team needs or wants Lance Briggs.

But let's grant that Joe Gibbs has veto power. That still means our meddling owner is involved in personnel moves. What we would eventually offer Chicago formally was what came out of Dan Snyder's mouth in a bar.

And should Chicago accept the trade, or else demands (and gets) additional compensation from the Redskins, we'll know that Dan Snyder played a huge role in making that happen, even if we concede that Joe Gibbs is the final rung in the decision making ladder. I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I'm only partially comfortable with that arrangement. The amount that I think Dan Snyder should be involved in or influencing personnel moves is exactly not at all. Currently, that isn't the case.