- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 5, 2002

Washington Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer could be ousted on Tuesday as part of an expected front office shakeup.

Several assistant coaches were calling around the NFL yesterday searching for jobs as several teams ready to fire their staffs once the regular season ends Monday. NFL sources said offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye feels his firing is imminent despite Schottenheimer's recent public assurances the staff would remain intact. However, team sources said Schottenheimer was ready to consider possible changes.

Schottenheimer is no longer assured of returning, though. Owner Dan Snyder is pursuing former Florida coach Steve Spurrier following the latter's abrupt resignation after 12 seasons to pursue an NFL job. While Spurrier appears headed to the Carolina Panthers to replace expected outgoing coach George Seifert, Snyder has long coveted the Gators coach.

Spurrier spurned Snyder's offer last year before Schottenheimer was hired. NFL sources said Snyder offered Spurrier $3 million plus incentives while the latter wanted more than $5 million annually. The new offer could reach $6 million with Spurrier expected to draw interest from several NFL teams. San Diego and Minnesota have already parted ways with their coaches with Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Atlanta also considering moves. Spurrier may wait for Tampa Bay to decide whether to fire Tony Dungy before choosing a team, but the Bucs must first play the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs on Jan. 12-13.

Snyder and vice president Pepper Rodgers, a long-time friend of Spurrier's, spent nearly a week around Spurrier and attended Florida's 56-23 Orange Bowl victory over Maryland on Wednesday. NFL sources said Snyder unsuccessfully tried to discuss a deal in September during the Redskins' 0-5 start, but Spurrier told friends he didn't return the owner's calls.

Schottenheimer has three years remaining on his deal worth $7.5 million and said he won't resign. Schottenheimer's once close relationship with Snyder cooled tremendously after the bad start that ended any playoff chances as the Redskins (7-8) close the season tomorrow against the Arizona Cardinals (7-8).

Schottenheimer's serious temperament has lightened considerably in recent days. Schottenheimer responded to questions of job security that he doesn't plan to leave. Team sources said Schottenheimer won't resign and won't be inclined to accept less than his full contract.

Team sources said Schottenheimer was upset over Snyder's recent decision to hire a general manager after the pair long claimed Schottenheimer was given total operations control. Indeed, Schottenheimer fired player personnel director Vinny Cerrato and hired successor John Schneider and made all draft and free agency decisions. However, Schottenheimer has since admitted Snyder has the right to hire a GM.

Snyder appears close to naming a GM, according to team sources. Former Washington and San Diego general manager Bobby Beathard has talked with Snyder, according to NFL sources. Beathard has not returned calls in recent days, but has local family ties that make returning to Washington attractive.

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