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PFT: Redskins Respond to Our Cerrato Insinuation

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Om

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And so it goes. We may not win much, but we're sure as hell entertaining.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/12/18/redskins-respond-to-our-cerrato-insinuation/

Redskins respond to our Cerrato "insinuation"
Posted by Mike Florio on December 18, 2009 12:04 PM ET

As we sift through the stream of holiday cards coming primarily if not exclusively from the friends and family members of Mrs. PFT, we can now cross one entity off the list of expected senders.

The Redskins.

We posted last night an item explaining that former executive V.P. of football operations Vinny Cerrato will remain as a consultant to owner Daniel Snyder, and we suggested that the role might have something to do with keeping Cerrato quiet about matters like the recruitment of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

So I got a call today from Redskins General Counsel Dave Donovan, and he had Cerrato on the line.

Donovan, to put it mildly, wasn't happy. (Unless he secretly moonlights as a drill sergeant.)

Before I go any farther on this one, I need to say that neither Donovan nor Cerrato used the magic words "off the record." They didn't say it at the outset of the call, they didn't say it after a lull in the conversation during which they thought I'd hung up and I said "I'm just taking good notes," and they didn't say it at the end when I thanked them for giving me so much material.

Donovan specifically wasn't happy with the "insinuation" that Cerrato was being paid for his silence. "If Vinny wasn't a public figure," Donovan said, "it would be defamatory."

Actually, it wouldn't be defamatory even if Vinny wasn't a public figure, since we made no statement of fact about anyone. We wrote only that there's a suspicion that Cerrato will be paid in order to ensure that he doesn't talk about things that he might know, whatever those things might be.

At one point, Donovan acknowledged that he also was unhappy with the fact that I wrote the item in a way that allowed me to make my point without creating any potential liability, calling the tactic "cowardly." And Donovan wasn't pleased with the fact that the team is receiving calls from other reporters seeking an admission or denial of the suggestion that Cerrato is being paid to pipe down.

"If you have facts, print the goddamn facts," he said.

Meanwhile, Donovan explained that Cerrato remains under contract through February 2010, and that Cerrato's contract will be honored. I asked whether he would thereafter be consulting with the Redskins or directly with Mr. Snyder, and Donovan said he "can't speak to any future issue." Cerrato said that he and Snyder "haven't talked about that yet."

On this specific point, we'll allow the audience to come to their own conclusions about what Donovan and/or Cerrato might be insinuating.
 

Bulldog

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Snyder paid Cerrato hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 10 years when no other organization in the NFL would have. He owes everything to Snyder.

Even though he is leaving the team he is not going to rat out Snyder. Snyder is really his only friend still, think any other NFL team is going to come calling now? :)
 

Lanky Livingston

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"On this specific point, we'll allow the audience to come to their own conclusions about what Donovan and/or Cerrato might be insinuating."

They were insinuating that PFT and Florio in particular are asshats.
 

servumtuum

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My goodness, they do seem awfully sensitive to the expression of cynicism about the Snyder/Cerrato relationship.

Do tell.
 

Sarge

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Wonder if the danny is going to pay out Zorn's contract like he's paying out vinny's?
 

Boone

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I'm disappointed to hear Donovan still acting as Snyder's 'mouthpiece'. Guy strikes me as exactly the wrong kind of guy to be speaking for a front office that's proven itself nearly entirely tone-deaf. The Redskins continued obsession the a media that is supposedly 'out to get them' is concerning. It makes me believe they still haven't learned a thing and that we haven't seen the end of Snyder and company's petty attempts to manipulate the unmanipulatable.

I'd be happy to see this guy go his merry way along with Cerrato. I don't think his defensiveness, veiled threats, and nasty temperament are good for the Redskins. I hope Bruce Allen comes in and absolutely cleans house.
 

Sarge

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Yeah, he's another one that can hit the road, along with Carl Swanson
 

Neophyte

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Do you think Allen's authority will extend outside football operations to a position like Donovan's though?
 

beamish

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depends on donovan's coffee-making skills - meaning - depends on how much danny likes him
 

Jimbo

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Would rather see Allen handling this. You really don't need to respond to stupid articles like this unless asked by a "credible news outlet". When PFT actually bothers to contact you, you simply reply "We don't consider you a credible enough news outlet to respond to". When the "credible" ones come calling, you simply deny it or say anything between Vinny and Danny is between them. If they spew the crap like PFT does, you can then say you no longer consider them "credible". You DO, however, need to play nicely with them when anything regarding the team, both positive and negative, comes up so you don't have every media outlet PFT'ing you.
 

Boone

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Do you think Allen's authority will extend outside football operations to a position like Donovan's though?
Probably not, and that's a good point.

I just think it's illustrative to watch how this guy operates. It tells you all you want to know about the mindset and worldview at the top couple layers.
 

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