Redskins fire general manager Scot McCloughan

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the opening day of NFL free agency, the Washington Redskins made a franchise-altering move that didn’t involve a player.

They fired general manager Scot McCloughan on Thursday, ending speculation about his future that had clouded the organization in recent weeks. Team president Bruce Allen announced the firing, which is effective immediately.

McCloughan, 46, served as GM for the past two years and had a four-year contract.

The day McCloughan was hired, Allen said the new GM would have full control over personnel decisions, but there were splits in the front office on a number of issues.

“The organization remains confident in our personnel department as we execute our free agency plans as well as prepare for the upcoming NFL draft,” Allen said in the statement, adding that the team will have no further comment on McCloughan’s departure.

In a curious turn of events, McCloughan did not attend the scouting combine in Indianapolis earlier this month, with a spokesman saying he was “taking care of some family matters.”

The combine is a key evaluating opportunity ahead of the April draft where many decision-makers and agents are present, and the Redskins were represented by Allen, coach Jay Gruden and other officials.

The Redskins did not give an official reason for McCloughan’s firing.

Before joining Washington, he served as senior personnel executive for…