Are Redskins tanking to draft a quarterback?

The Washington Redskins’ decision this week to bench Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman has a lot of people asking, What is Mike Shanahan thinking?

Perhaps he’s thinking about drafting a quarterback in 2011 — and thinking that losing the final three games gives him a better chance of acquiring the quarterback he wants.

That was the subject of a discussion this morning on NFL Network, focusing on whether Shanahan is throwing the rest of the season so he can get a high draft pick next year.

“They’re really thinking about drafting a quarterback,” NFL Network reporter Michael Lombardi said. “The move to Rex Grossman, I’ve been told reliably by people in the Washington organization, has nothing to do with him being the quarterback of the future. It’s about them being in position next year to draft a quarterback.”

NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk also suggested that the Redskins, who are currently 5-8, would rather finish 5-11 than 8-8.

“Those five wins? That’s all they want,” Faulk said. “Five wins and 11 losses, that might put you in the Top 5. . . . If they can get in the Top 5, there’s a lot of good college quarterbacks coming out this year. . . . Is that throwing games? I don’t know. But you understand that Donovan McNabb gives you the best chance to win, and you start Rex, and John Beck is second and Donovan is third? You’re sending a crazy message.”

Warren Sapp was blunt in his assessment: “Right now they’re tanking the season looking for that Top 5 pick.”

So who would Shanahan want to draft with that Top 5 pick? Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is widely regarded as the best prospect in the 2011 NFL draft. But he’s likely to go first overall, and it’s impossible for the Redskins to get the first overall pick, so tanking games to get Luck wouldn’t be a very smart strategy.

But there are other good quarterbacks Shanahan might covet, including Ryan Mallett of Arkansas and Cam Newton of Auburn. Would Shanahan want to lose the last three games of 2010 so he can draft one of those quarterbacks in 2011?

A team intentionally losing games to get good draft picks would be a terrible thing for the integrity of the National Football League. That the league’s own network is openly discussing the possibility of a team doing just that shows what a bizarre year it’s been in Washington.

51 responses to “Are Redskins tanking to draft a quarterback?

  1. Just Maybe it is time to see if Grossman can be a quaterback on this team or do we need to cut him too. Its time to find out about other team players, the season is lost so I think Shanhan is doing what he should and finding out who will be on this squad next year.

  2. Yeah, the Redskins are the first team ever to play second-string players towards to end of the season to see what they have. It’s a shocking, stunning scandal that a team would play players who don’t necessarily give them the best chance of winning for evaluation purposes.

  3. Duh…first thing that came to mind when I heard the news.Also this move keeps mcnabb’s bad gamesgresh in the locals minds and gives Grossman rope to hang himself.
    Time the season is over skins fans will be clamoring for a qb in the first round.

  4. What a message to send to your fans. You know, the fans who bought season tickets and now realize that not only did they get 4 worthless preseason games like every other team, but add to that making the last three games worthless as well. If that’s the kind of braintrust running the Skins, I am glad I am not a fan. Then again, what the hell does Washington know about drafting talent? They are a team made up of free agents. They will only blow whatever pick they get anyway. The Redskins need a complete overhaul, starting with Snyder selling the team and getting out of Dodge, and without a doubt getting rid of rat face otherwise known as Captain Queeg. Look at that franchise and compare it to the Pats, Steelers and Saints. Pathetic.

  5. yeah, Washington can make a ‘step up’ by losing to the Cowgirls and if AZ beats Carolina today. Then they’d be #6 in the draft order for a week. If AZ loses, the Wash probably won’t pass them by end of season because of AZ’s horrible strength of schedule, and because AZ, Dallas and SF are all playing each other in the coming weeks. So if you want a star QB, Danny boy, get ready to trade up.

  6. I doubt very seriously that, if this is true, it is the first time that has happened. If Rex comes out playing very well and they replace him, then it will be official.

  7. The Redskins couldn’t win with any QB. The rest of the team is so bad it doesn’t matter.

    Say hello to either Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker, or Cam Newton ‘Skin fans.

  8. “integrity of the league” ?

    give me a break!

    when the same league allows teams to pull mannings out of games and use painters and allows teams to “rest players after clinching” as they TANK games that sometimes eliminates “other” teams who were forced to play games against 16 opponents who tried to win the day they met them.

    don’t ever use integrity and nfl in the same sentence.

  9. minor correction… they’d only be #7 this week (strength of schedule) , and that would depend on what Houston, Minn, Tenn, Cleveland and SF do. So forget it… they could lose out and still end up drafting 9-12.

  10. Irony is a strange beast … The Eagles tanked a season, just to pick him put. Only to be overshadowed by the expansion Browns. Now the Redskins are doing the same thing to him.

  11. Theismann, Williams, Rypien, Schroder… it doesn’t matter who they start, they were not gonna beat Dallas, Jags or Giants anyway. How foolish this theory is! One of the stupidest things i’ve ever heard. Remember they managed to get to 5-8 WITH McNoodle, they were most definitely headed to 5-11 with him…

  12. As tough as many may find this pill to swallow – Mike Shanahan has two strengths, identifying running backs and O linemen. That’s it.

    Once you take that away, he’s proven over and over again to be highly ineffective, if not inept…. and even incompetent.

  13. Doesn’t this theory assume the Skins could win another game? Why are Skins fans so resistant to putting themselves in the same category as the Rams, Lions and Bills? I am sure they will spend their top 5 draft pick on a modern day Heath Shuler or Jason Campbell (yeah this is a shot at the one year wonder, Cam Newton) and then be in the Market to give Jake Delhomme a $10M deal to mentor him.

  14. I would rather have my team evaluate all the bubble players on its roster and lose with them than win with someone you have no plans on bringing back. “Intentionally” losing out is a smart decision and fans of a team like Washington would rather have a top 5 pick and hope for the future than picking in the teens and having to mortgage future for players you want by moving up. The only time I have seen things work out for a team needing a franchise guy and targeting one in the first round who wasn’t picking top ten was when my Steelers lucked out with Ben.

    Every year we had Kordell I was hoping for losses as I knew…KNEW…they could not win it all with him and I would rather go 5-11 than 11-5 with Kordell and NOT win the SB. Then not have the chance at his replacement because we won too many games. Many fans would disagree but whatever…look around the league, you need a franchise QB to win it all and without one Washington is not going anywhere so why win games that only hurt your chances at finally getting one?

  15. Wow, Shanahan is such a frickin’ liar. It’s obvious, even to Warren Sapp, that the Redskins are tanking the season. If you ask me, this is worse than what the Jets or Patriots did.

    It should be no surprise though. Shanahan is the same guy that embraced cut blocking as a standard operating practice. He’s also the same guy that cheated on the salary cap during the Broncos Super Bowl seasons. (Funny, I never hear anyone say that those Super Bowl wins shouldn’t count even though they would not have been able to keep Terrell Davis on their team if they hadn’t cheated the cap.)

    It’s a shame that some of the most loyal fans in the NFL have been subjected to such ineptitude. This proud franchise deserves better. Unfortunately, Dan Snyder can fire everybody but Dan Snyder.

  16. Not much difference than Indy mailing it in against the Jets. Trying to use it to their advantage.
    They probably were not going to beat the ‘Boys, and GMen, with or without McNabb. Jags also have something to play for…..

  17. D’OH!…. how bout’ this radical idea?……McNabb SUCKS!….some people are acting like they just benched Joe Montana……Rex Grossman/McNabb….what’s the difference?

  18. The Foreskins really don’t have to bench McNabb to tank the season. All they have to do is keep playing like they have all season!

  19. Duh. I been saying since two weeks ago that I’d switched from playoff mode to draft mode. Why ruin draft status for something as “petty” (kidding) as pride? It’s not a bad strategy to see what you have on your roster though. It’s even better if you get to see what you’ve got while “improving” your odds of getting a top player in the draft. I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened. The only reason there would be exciting games would be if one could keep someone else out of the playoffs by beating them. “We” are playing the cowboys today. Hate to lose to them regardless.
    Sexy Rexy 15-35 for 232yds 1TD and 3 T.O.’s

  20. Does anyone here recall they only won 5 games because McNabb has been awful?? A QB change cannot hurt, even if you put him in again for the last games after sitting one out.

  21. Lets see; Rookie QB and an Offensive Coordinator who would be unemployed but for his father being the Boss………now there’s a recipe for disaster!

  22. I mentioned this the other day and how clear it was what the rat was up to.

    It’s about time you hacks caught up.

  23. Problem with that strategy is 5-11 won’t get them a top 5 pick. They should have done this a lot sooner.

    Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona or Dallas, Detroit, Cincy, Denver are probably the top 6. So, at best they will have a shot at Mallett. Luck goes #1 and Newton in the top 5 (if he comes out).

    Dallas is countering this by having Romo, Williams, Spears out.

    In this game the winner is actually the loser.

  24. Oh and in addition Dallas is without Bryant & Ogletree so, they have their #2, 5, and a guy they just pulled off the practice squad as their WR trio.

  25. If he wants to blow the last 3 games of the season he is certainly inserting the right QB. I’m sure Grossman has all the tools to help Shanahan reach his goal. Check out the first exchange of the game…Grossman will probably fumble it. Question: factor John Elway out of Shanahan’s career and how successful is he? Just wondering.

  26. “integrity of the league” ?

    give me a break!

    when the same league allows teams to pull mannings out of games and use painters and allows teams to “rest players after clinching” as they TANK games that sometimes eliminates “other” teams who were forced to play games against 16 opponents who tried to win the day they met them.

    don’t ever use integrity and nfl in the same sentence.
    You’re right on. After last year’s sit downs, there is no integrity in the No Fun League. Al Davis was right many years ago…”just win baby.”

  27. Haven’t they tanked every season since the Jewish Napolean bought the team?

    Instead of news, we can just call it “olds”.

  28. if they are in the top 5 would it really be hard to trade up to grab Luck? I think it would be easy if they skins want a player they get that player! I could see sending dmac and fat al to carolina as part of the deal! Think dmac grooms clausen and the panthers take aj green with the skins top 5 pick! Add fat al the the panthers 4-3 dline and I think they turn it around next season as a top 10 team! Mean while the redskins get the best QB IN THE LAST 15 years!!! IT MAKES ALOT OF SENSE ACTUALLY! CAM NEWTON WILL BE A BUST NO CHANCE THE SKINS WASTE A TOP 5 PICK ON A PAYER THAT CAN’t CARRY TEBOWS JOCK!!


  30. LOL. This is much ado about nothing. The Redskins do not need to TRY to lose. Their utter lack of talent, chemistry, effort, and strategic direction pretty much ensures that they are going to lose their last three even if Tom Brady were the starting QB.

  31. I have nuttin’ to say…just wanted to congratulate COMMANDERCORNPONE on his most excellent handle!

    Go, ‘Skins…and no, I am not drunk.

  32. No. Losing a few games to get a better draft position would in no way threaten the integrity of the NFL. That’s a silly statement you made there. It is in fact the smartest move available, and the one that they should make. The integrity of the NFL does not require teams to fight for useless wins that do not serve the long term interests of the team in question.

    Put on your big boy pants and look at reality, this is actually a good strategy, given the current draft slotting system.

  33. “A team intentionally losing games to get good draft picks would be a terrible thing for the integrity of the National Football League.”
    That is the funniest thing I have read all week. Anyone with a brain knows that Tanarat has absolutely no integrity. Any underclass QB in college that has a chance to go to the Redskins would be much better served to stay in school another year. As for free agent QB’s, I doubt that any QB that is any good would go play for that Rat of a coach and Napoleon complexed owner.

  34. Give me a break… I don’t believe Shanny would tank the season. It’s not like McNabb is playing lights out this year. Bottom line is the OC trusts Grossman more than McNabb at this point. Yes McNabb is good, but we’ve seen players fall fast before… Palmer, McNair, etc.

    I do feel bad for McNabb though.

  35. How does one tell the Redskins are tanking a game? They miss an extra point? No. They shank a 12 yard field goal? No. They fail to cover or tackle anyone? No. They throw ints to the other team? No. Its impossible. They are bullet proof.

  36. Makes sense. As bad as McNabb is, it makes absolutely no sense to think Grossman gives you any better a chance of winning. None

  37. @lowleadman

    What a message to send to your fans. You know, the fans who bought season tickets and now realize that not only did they get 4 worthless preseason games like every other team,


    k, first of all, not sure how many home games your team gets in the preseason, but the rest of the NFL gets only 2

    secondly, you’re an idiot, stop blogging cuz you don’t know wtf you’re talkng about…i’m glad you’re not a skins fan either, you’d just dumb us down

    oh, and steelers and patriots, i’ll give you that, but the saints franchise is a joke, 2 good seasons and you’re ready to put em up with the steelers and patriots. haha, k bud, enjoy fantasy land, they’ll be right where the cardinals are in a year or two after their super bowl run. . .lol children these days

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