Vinny Cerrato is out as the vice president of football operations for the Washington Redskins.
Cerrato abruptly resigned this morning, fueling rampant speculation that a move may be made soon by the organization to hire Mike Holmgren as an overseer of football operations, or perhaps Mike Shanahan as the next coach with personnel power.
Cerrato has had two stints with the team and was a central figure in the hiring of Jim Zorn as head coach. He said two months ago that he believed he had given Zorn a playoff-caliber roster to work with, and this has been a terribly disappointing season for the franchise.
He has long been considered the right-hand man of owner Daniel Snyder, and the Redskins made the biggest splash in free agency this past offseason by signing defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a $100 million contract.
"We agreed that the franchise needs someone different in this position," Cerrato said in a statement released by the organization. "I'm thankful to Dan Snyder and other members of this ownership team for the opportunities I've been given over the years.
"Of course I am disappointed with this year's results, but I strongly believe that with outstanding picks and encouraging performance by our younger players, we have laid a strong foundation for the franchise.
"I've had the pleasure of working with some great coaches such as Joe Gibbs, Greg Blache and Sherman Lewis, great people on the Redskins staff, and most especially, some of the best professionall football players in the world. I wish them all the best. I've also had the privilege of working for a franchise supported by the most loyal fans in the NFL."
Notice that Cerrato left out the name of Zorn, who most expect will be fired after the season.
Cerrato also discussed his relationship with Snyder in the statement: “More importantly, he is my friend, and he has always been there for me and the Redskins," Snyder said in the statement. "He's the consummate optimist and has always made decisions based on what would be the best for the team."
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