Bruce Allen has been fired from his role as the Washington Redskins' president, ending a controversial, decade-long run as team owner Daniel Snyder's top executive.
He will have no further role with the organization, Snyder said in a statement announcing the move Monday morning, despite recent belief that he could be removed from his role overseeing football operations but given a different position with the team.
"As this season concludes, Bruce Allen has been relieved of his duties as president of the Washington Redskins and is no longer with the organization," Snyder said in the statement. "Like our passionate fan base, I recognize we have not lived up to the high standards set by great Redskins teams, coaches and players who have come before us. As we reevaluate our team leadership, culture and process for winning football games, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead to renew our singular focus and purpose of bringing championship football back to Washington D.C."
A close confidant of owner Snyder's, Allen became the frequent target of fan frustration in recent years as the franchise struggled on the field and saw its once-proud fan base dwindle. Washington's record since Allen was hired late in the 2009 season is 62-100-1.
His dismissal is the first step of an expected offseason overhaul to Washington's front office. Former Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera is interviewing with the Redskins Monday, with hope from both sides that a deal for him to become the team's next head coach could be reached the same day.
Allen's tenure ends a day after the team lost 47-16 to the Dallas Cowboys to finish 3-13, tying the franchise's lowest win total since 1961. The postgame scene was grim, as Allen walked alone down a long corridor in the bowels of the Cowboys' stadium while Snyder's motorcade drove past him with a police escort.
For 10 years, Allen wielded tremendous power in the organization, overseeing both business and football operations for most of his time with the team. But his control - once seen as absolute - appeared wane in recent weeks as the totality of the franchise's decline became apparent with just two postseason appearances, seven losing seasons and a deteriorating fan base that left FedEx Field close to half-empty for many games.
This season has been particularly trying for the Redskins with an 0-5 start, the Oct. 7 firing of Coach Jay Gruden and an ugly months-long holdout by star left tackle Trent Williams.
Asked about his future days before the Redskins Dec. 8 loss to Green Bay, Allen would only say: "I'm much more concerned about the Green Bay Packers."
Snyder hired Allen late in the 2009 season after dispatching another longtime executive who had once been believed to be impossible to remove - general manager Vinny Cerrato. At the time, the addition of Allen was seen by many as a sign of maturity by Snyder, who brought Allen in to manage the franchise's business operations and work with incoming Coach Mike Shanahan, who was hired in January 2010.
But Allen, the son of famed Redskins Coach, George Allen, did not recapture the prestige of his father's time with the team. Instead, it was filled with controversies that included battles with Shanahan, fiascos surrounding quarterbacks Donovan McNabb, Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins - the last of whom Allen let leave in free agency after twice using the franchise tag on Cousins rather than signing him to a longterm deal. A subsequent 2018 trade for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, whom Allen signed to a four-year, $94 million contract, backfired when Smith suffered a career-threatening injury later that year, causing the team to lose six of its last seven games.
Twice in the past 10 years, Allen's power appeared threatened. The first came when Snyder hired Scot McCloughan as general manager in 2015, and the second in 2018 when he brought in respected sports business insider, Brian Lafemina, to run the business operations. But Allen survived both. McCloughan was fired in 2017 and LaFemina was let go last December, just months after his hring. Allen, who had ceded authority over the organization's business side when Lafemina was hired, regained full control over both the football and business operations last January.
Though a forceful figure behind the scenes, Allen was often invisible to the public. He rarely did interviews and his rare press conferences became a source of mockery for many disgruntled fans. His 2014 assertion that the team was "winning off the field" following two seasons in which the Redskins had won just seven games in two years, outraged many as did this fall's claim that the team's "culture is actually damn good" after many in the organization had described the atmosphere around the Redskins headquarters as toxic.
Some fans, irate over the franchise's inability to win consistently, began a campaign to get Allen fired, attaching "#FireBruceAllen" to tweets from the Redskins social media team. Employees showed their dissatisfaction by leaving. Several who were interviewed said they had left because of Allen or the organization's culture. Many cited Allen as the cause for the unhealthy atmosphere."I just don't understand," Williams said in a November interview, in which the star tackle was critical of Allen. "In any business world, when the employer has someone who is underperforming, he finds another one. I don't know in the last 10 years if there is a worse record [for] someone who has held their job for 10 years and performed the way they performed and still have a job. I don't know. That would be good to look up and [see] just who else is in that company. I would be thrilled to find out."