Unhappy Mendes agrees to go

Several months ago, Joe Mendes privately expressed concern over the direction of the franchise and the type of people being put in charge. It became clear: he wasn't long for the job.

And, Tuesday, it became official: Mendes was gone, by mutual agreement, and Vinny Cerrato was promoted to Vice President of Football Operations. It's the least surprising development of the offseason.

It also was no secret that Mendes and Cerrato did not get along well, though it didn't hinder the Redskins' offseason plans. Mendes didn't like that Cerrato hogged the credit--and that he consistently made it seem as if the Redskins didn't have a plan last offseason.

And Cerrato didn't seem to like Mendes' presence. Before one pre-draft press conference in which both were scheduled to appear, Cerrato asked, ''Why does Mendes have to be there?''

Reports have circulated since The Washington Times' Rick Snider first wrote about this fractured relationship last season. At that time it was clear that Cerrato's role had increased, and would be increasing more. Some had suggested that Cerrato did not want more responsibility, saying he was happy with his role. Also, his wife is a doctor in Chicago. Turns out that was wrong.

It then became a matter of time before Mendes would be gone. After all, Cerrato is a constant companion of owner Dan Snyder. Mendes isn't. He's the bookish type who spent long hours at the office and didn't want to spend even more socializing.

Mendes occasionally expressed frustration about what was happening. But he appeared to be resigned toward fulfilling the life of his contract (which expired after this season). More reports surfaced about a month ago, one suggesting he could be out within a week; another saying he would stay all season.

In truth, Mendes and Snyder had not talked much about the situation. They had a chance to do so this week, leading to a mutual parting of the ways. He'll receive a large cash settlement. Cerrato will now shoulder all of the credit--and the blame.


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