Before they hired Ron Rivera as their new head coach this past week, the Washington Redskins came close to hiring former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith as their president to run the team, league sources told ESPN.
Smith and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder had multiple meetings in the Bahamas, formulating a vision for the struggling franchise, according to sources.
Sources familiar with the situation expected a deal to get done and Smith to be in charge of the Redskins.
But Snyder ultimately opted to run his franchise through his head coach instead of a president, bestowing the power to Rivera, who was officially hired Wednesday.
The meetings in the Bahamas also proved that Smith is ready to return to the NFL at a time when some wondered when or whether he would, with good reason. Smith has spent the past year out of football, tending to his three children after his wife, Tiffany, died of cancer Jan. 31.
Smith got far along in his talks with Washington, and one source predicted it won't be long before he returns to a prominent position in the NFL.
Snyder fired team president Bruce Allen -- who had been with the team for a decade -- on Monday after the Redskins completed a 3-13 season and a last-place finish in the NFC East.
While speculation continues to swirl about how the Redskins' front office will be structured, they aren't in any rush to do it.
In fact, the Redskins now are planning to wait until after the NFL draft to hire a general manager, according to league sources. The Redskins' thinking is that they still have people in place for now, though anyone in the front office is in jeopardy after the draft.