San Francisco 49ers

Mr. McCloughan heads to Washington. Will 49ers players follow?

Former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan, who abruptly left the team in 2010, is back in the game. According to multiple reports, Washington has hired McCloughan to be its next general manager with Bruce Allen moving to team President.

The 49ers brought in McCloughan, a disciple of long-time Packers general manager Ron Wolf, after they hired Mike Nolan in 2005. Nolan and McCloughan immediately began the task of trying to rebuild a two-win 49ers squad, and the draft that year included quarterback Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick and running back Frank Gore with the first pick in the third round.

Other key acquisitions under McCloughan included tight end Vernon Davis (2006), Patrick Willis and Joe Staley (2007), Justin Smith (FA 2008) and Ahmad Brooks (FA 2008). Before the 49ers played in the Super Bowl in February 2013, McCloughan, who was then with the arch-rival Seahawks, said he was most proud of acquiring Gore and Brooks because others had given up on them.

"We had many discussions about cutting him,” McCloughan said of Brooks. “Would he ever get it? But I kept battling for him because he had the ability. I'm just proud for him because he's been through so much in his life, both good and bad.”

Both Brooks and Gore could be leaving the 49ers in the offseason. Gore is scheduled to be a free agent while Brooks has a salary-cap figure in excess of $9 million and had run-ins with his coaches in 2014 that led to him being benched. Davis also could be out after the worst statistical season -- 245 yards, two touchdowns -- of his career. His cap figure is $7.3 million next season. Both Brooks and Davis also are from the Washington, D.C. area; Brooks’ father, Perry, played there in the 1980s.

McCloughan and the 49ers parted ways after the 2010 scouting combine, leaving his top lieutenant, Trent Baalke, to run the draft that year. A recent magazine piece in ESPN revealed that McCloughan left because of alcohol-related problems.

According to the story, McCloughan was going through a divorce at the time and would spend nights at the 49ers headquarters, sleeping on a couch in his office.

"It'd take me away from reality," McCloughan said of alcohol in the story. "All of a sudden, everything's gone. Just have peace. Everything that was going on with my wife at the time, everything with the kids, everything with the job, it's OK. ... That was my drug. It was a liquid drug."

Seattle general manager John Schneider, who had worked alongside McCloughan in Green Bay, hired him with the Seahawks. Their 2012 draft included defensive end Bruce Irvin, linebacker Bobby Wagner and, in the third round, quarterback Russell Wilson.

McCloughan has favored big, physical players and is an advocate of building through the draft, something that his new employers have failed to do under owner Dan Snyder.


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