SBD/Issue 161/Franchises

Longtime Snyder Confidante Karl Swanson Leaving The Redskins

Redskins Senior VP/PR Karl Swanson, the "long-time top lieutenant" of team Owner Dan Snyder, is "leaving the organization," according to Rick Maese of the WASHINGTON POST. The Redskins sent an e-mail to team employees yesterday "stating that Swanson hoped to spend more time with his family." Swanson, one of two "senior-level executives who've been with Snyder since the owner took over control" of the Redskins in '99, "played an active role in forming media strategy and running damage control when needed." Maese noted Swanson's departure "could be viewed as yet another sign of a culture change at Redskins Park." It is unclear how his departure will affect other members of the Redskins' PR staff (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/3). NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST's Brad Biggs noted Swanson was "viewed as one of the key behind-the-scenes men at Redskins Park, responsible for shaping the team’s image through its PR work." He worked "diligently to shield Snyder from the press," and while the owner "changed coaches often and the club rolled through PR directors even more quickly, Swanson was a rock for Snyder." Swanson often "stepped forward when there were major public issues such as uproars over season tickets, parking and other issues" (NATIONALFOOTBALLPOST.com, 5/3).

COMING INTO THE DISTRICT? The POST's Maese cites sources as saying that the Redskins have offered Swanson's position to Texans VP/Communications Tony Wyllie, and it is "believed that Wyllie will accept the position soon and a formal announcement could be made this week." Wyllie, who has spent the past 10 years with the Texans, would become the "highest-ranking African-American in Redskins' team history" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/4).

BAGS ARE PACKED? In St. Louis, Jim Thomas reports Rams VP/Player Personnel Tony Softli has "been given permission by the team to pursue other job opportunities." Softli, who joined the team in '06, was "conspicuous by his absence at the rookie minicamp over the weekend -- a time when Rams scouts and personnel executives normally line the sidelines during practices to get a close look at the new draft picks and rookie free agents." In addition, "yet another Rams Park employee" from previous management "appears to have been shown the door." NFL sources indicated that Dir of Player Development Ray Ogas "has been informed that he will not be retained." Ogas among other things "helped players with the transition to professional football" and had been with the team for 10 years (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/4).

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