Rivera began redesigning the front office last week after Eric Schaffer, the team's long-term salary cap expert, left the organization and was replaced by Carolina Panthers' top contract negotiator, Rob Rogers. At the same time, Rivera moved Doug Williams, the former senior vice president of player personnel, to a position as senior vice president who oversees player development.
Rogers and Smith seem to be in the top front office positions at the moment, although Rivera may eventually hire a general manager. Washington has had no real general manager since Scot McCloughan's release in March 2017. For the past three seasons, former President Bruce Allen has been essentially the general manager of the Redskins.
The 35-year-old Smith is considered an emerging star in the NFL human resources world, especially since he took over the team's designs three years ago. Smith, originally hired as an intern in 2010, was promoted to scout the next year and promoted to scouting director in 2017. Fourteen of the Redskins' regular starters last year came from the last three drafts, which included several other promising players, such as running backs Derrius Guice and Bryce Love and wide receiver Trey Quinn, which were held back by injuries.
Rivera, who has been Carolina's head coach for the past 8½ years, has shown a penchant for surrounding himself with people he knew from the Panthers. In addition to Rogers, he also hired Carolina's coach Ryan Vermillion and offensive coordinator Scott Turner. Last season, he got at least five other coaches from his Panthers employees. However, Rivera is familiar to Smith because he and Smith's father A.J. worked together when Rivera was the defense coordinator of the San Diego Chargers and A.J. Smith, the team's general manager.
When Redskins owner Daniel Snyder introduced Rivera as his team's new coach on January 2, just three days after Allen's dismissal, he wanted Rivera to lead the organization. At the time, Rivera said he wanted to meet with holdover managers like Schaffer, Williams, and Kyle Smith to see how they could work together. Within two weeks, he allowed Schaffer to leave, put Williams in a new role, and promoted Smith – all apparently with the approval of Snyder, who said in a statement on Monday that Smith had "started work in the past 10 seasons and." this has proven to be an experienced talent assessor. "
Smith will have an immediate impact on Rivera's front office as the Redskins' Boy Scout division is already preparing for the April draft. He is expected to lead the team's contingent to next week's Senior Bowl and is likely to play a prominent role as the team makes important decisions about whether to keep several high-priced veteran players before the free agency starts in March.