An ESPN report has The Sports Junkies fearful that Redskins owner Dan Snyder may already be standing in Ron Rivera's way.
"Dan has already proven over his 20-year tenure, his reign of terror over this organization, that he's not gonna change," Eric Bickel said Wednesday. "And for us to keep thinking that he will is just, that's our bad. It's stupid!"
"But one day you hear that the coaching staff's meeting with Tua and they're interested in him, and the next day you hear Snyder won't allow him to take him," said Jason Bishop. "It's just a mess over there. It's just a complete mess!"
"I wouldn't be surprised if it's both true," said Bickel. "That the staff is intrigued, they have Tua rated very highly, they're very much intrigued by the possibility of potentially selecting him. But Dan's putting his foot down and saying, 'Look, we're not gonna do it.'"
"Well that means nothing has changed," John Auville chimed. "Everything's the same!"
"But Rivera and the coaching staff should have known that way before the Combine," said Bishop. "They should have known that when he was hired."
"I believe they did know that," Bickel said.
"In the end, in the moment of truth in the draft room," Flaim returned, "can't Ron Rivera just call and say, 'Our pick is Tua Tagovailoa'?"
The conversation presents an inescapable thought. Amid smoke screens upon smoke screens ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, the biggest could be that Rivera was ever given autonomy over football operations to begin with.
The threat of him stepping in at any point is omnipresent.
Bishop proffered the thought that this – all of it – could be dismissed as a massive game of telephone being played out before our eyes.