Former team president Bruce Allen, who was fired Dec. 30, essentially served as the team’s general manager after the 2017 firing of Scot McCloughan.
The moves show that Rivera is using his authority to restructure the front office sooner than many expected. It also shows he wants to build the team largely around people with whom he worked as coach of the Panthers before his firing last month.
When Redskins owner Daniel Snyder hired Rivera last week, he made it clear that Rivera would be the most powerful man in the organization and its primary voice. Both Rogers and Williams will report to Rivera. At the time, Rivera said he wanted to meet the team’s top football executives — Schaffer and Williams, along with college scouting director Kyle Smith and pro scouting director Alex Santos.
“Everything we do is going to be about a collaborative effort,” Rivera said at his introductory news conference. “There’s no one pure authority on this other than the owner. The key is we’re going to collaborate. We’re going to talk. We’re going to work together. We’re going to come to decisions that are best for this organization — not best for the individual but best for the organization.”
Rogers, who was named Washington’s senior vice president of football administration, had been with the Panthers since the team was founded in 1995, handling all of the team’s contracts and negotiations. Last year, the team promoted him to his current role from director of football administration. At the time, the Panthers said he was going to start an analytics department.
In a statement, Rivera said Rogers had been a “tremendous resource” for him in Carolina.
Several league executives and player agents have suggested that Rivera also might pursue Carolina General Manager Marty Hurney to join him in Washington.
Williams’s new position will move him away from the personnel-centric role he has served in recent seasons and place him in charge of guiding and advising players. He will work with Malcolm Blacken, the team’s senior director of player development. In a statement released by the Redskins, Rivera said he had several meetings with Williams and decided on the role change because “we want to create an atmosphere that is all about the players.”
Williams, a former star quarterback who led Washington to a victory in Super Bowl XXII, has been an informal mentor to several players in recent seasons.
Following Allen’s departure, Schaffer was initially expected to have a larger role in the organization, but one person with knowledge of the situation said two weeks ago that Rivera wanted to meet with Schaffer before he took the job to see whether the two could work together. Schaffer is highly regarded around the NFL for his ability to manipulate the salary cap and write team-friendly contracts.
“I want to thank Eric Schaffer for his work and contributions over the past 17 years,” Snyder said in a statement. “He was dedicated to the team and the organization and we wish him all the best.”
Thursday’s announcements were the latest in a massive remaking of the franchise that started with Allen’s firing the day after the season ended. For 10 years, Allen had been the Redskins’ most powerful executive, but he also had raised the ire of many players, coaches and executives who blamed him for a culture that led to numerous losing seasons in the past decade.
In addition to hiring Rogers, Rivera added the Panthers’ former trainer, Ryan Vermillion, and offensive coordinator, Scott Turner, and is close to announcing the hiring of six other assistants from his Panthers staff.
Kareem Copeland and Mark Maske contributed to this report.