Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan remained away from the team's facility as the legal tampering period began Tuesday, a source confirmed.
The Washington Post first reported his absence.
It's not a surprising development considering that McCloughan missed the scouting combine, citing family matters, and there have been reports of ongoing tension in the organization. But, as with the combine, it's highly unusual for a general manager not to be involved in a process that could result in acquiring talent, raising more questions about his status.
McCloughan is not in charge of negotiating contracts, and a lot of what's taking place over the next few days involves finances. The legal tampering period, which opened Tuesday at noon and ends Thursday at 3:59 p.m. ET, allows teams to engage representatives of free agents in contract talks. No agreements can be signed until the beginning of the league year at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Redskins also have a number of their own free agents to consider, notably receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, tight end Vernon Davis and defensive end Chris Baker.
At the combine, team president Bruce Allen said McCloughan would return as soon as his family matters "are cleared up." His grandmother died in early February, and that was the reason the Redskins gave for his absence.
McCloughan has been in charge of putting together the roster since he was hired in 2015; he also was given the authority to make player cuts. His absence during a critical time is yet another sign of something wrong in the Redskins organization. There have been multiple reports of tension between McCloughan and Allen. There also has been speculation about McCloughan's future with the organization. McCloughan's strength over the years has been the college draft; this would be his third with the Redskins.
Several agents said last week that they had remained in contact with McCloughan about their respective players.
Redskins senior vice president Tony Wyllie said when asked about McCloughan, "We are focusing on free agency."