- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 7, 2017

On Tuesday at noon, when the NFL window for teams to negotiate with free agents began, Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan was not at Redskins Park.

The Washington Post’s Mike Jones reported McCloughan’s absence, which comes on the heels of the NFL Scouting Combine, which McCloughan also did not attend.

While details explaining McCloughan’s absence are few, what is clear is that the man who is ostensibly the team’s chief roster builder has not been with his colleagues during critical times for roster building.

The Redskins have several important pending free agents, including receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, tight end Vernon Davis and defensive end Chris Baker, and 10 picks in April’s upcoming draft. There is also the matter of Kirk Cousins’ contract to attend to.

Redskins President Bruce Allen said last week that McCloughan had to settle some family matters and would return to the team when he had done so, as early as this week. Redskins vice president of communications Tony Wyllie told the Post that the team is “busy with free agency,” and would not elaborate on McCloughan’s whereabouts.

Teams have until Thursday during the league’s “legal tampering period” to talk with representatives for unrestricted free agents. Numbers can be discussed, but deals can’t be signed until the NFL New Year officially begins on Thursday at 4 p.m.

• Nora Princiotti can be reached at nprinciotti@washingtontimes.com.

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