When they say it’s not about the money, it’s usually about the money. When they don’t say anything, it’s definitely about the money.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has remained silent during one of the most bizarre weeks of his oft-bizarre 14 years as owner, reportedly doesn’t want to fire coach Mike Shanahan because Snyder doesn’t want to owe Shanahan and his staff an amount that is believed to be in the range of $13 million.
That’s the gist of the latest report from Mark Maske of the Washington Post. Maske also reports that Snyder did not interfere with Shanahan’s decision to shut down quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the year because Snyder believes it’s a coaching decision.
While the assistant coaches have become fairly expensive pawns in the ungoing game of chess/checkers/chicken, Shanahan remains the $7 million king. If Snyder makes it clear that he plans to honor the final year of Shanahan’s deal, Shanahan will have to decide whether to quit and get nothing or to suck it up and coach as a lame duck.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s hard to envision Snyder putting the long-term interests of the team at risk over what amounts to the stroke of a pen. But Snyder has spent four years with Shanahan, and Snyder didn’t get to where he is by being dumb. If/when he can persuade Shanahan that he’s serious about holding Shanahan’s feet to the contractual fire, Shanahan may decide to leave with nothing — or to try to negotiate a middle-ground buyout.