Report: Shanahan was ready to leave Redskins in January

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In many American workplaces, an employee who fears being fired will quit pre-emptively.  For an NFL coach, that maneuver comes with a cost.

Specifically, the coach will say bye-bye to his buyout.

For Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, the word emerging as he closes in on getting fired with a year left on his contract is that he almost quit.  In January.

According to Dan Graziano of, Shanahan cleaned out his office prior to the wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks, due to the relationship between owner Daniel Snyder and quarterback Robert Griffin III.  Per Graziano, “Shanahan had grown tired of the way Snyder empowered Griffin and openly esteemed him above all other players.”

If it’s true, Shanahan shouldn’t be surprised.  Snyder has a habit of striking friendships with players, including for example former running back Clinton Portis, who (as we heard it a few years back) openly disrespected former coach Jim Zorn, without consequence.

While the online version of the latest report points out that Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie terms the report “ridiculous,” the on-air summary of it by Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen contained no such caveat.  ESPN’s Tom Jackson later noted that Shanahan simply declined comment — which potentially implies plenty.

Also implying plenty is the fact that Schefter once wrote a book with Shanahan.  If the report were indeed ridiculous (and/or if Shanahan didn’t want the report to surface), Shanahan could have/should have/would have contacted Schefter to say so, and to ask that the story be killed — or at least to ask that the team’s position be prominently disclosed when the report is discussed on the air.

The fact that such a big story was reported by Graziano, who is identified at as the reporter who covers the New York Giants (who doesn’t have to deal with the Redskins going forward), invites even more speculation regarding how this all came to light, and regarding whether there was an effort to keep Schefter’s fingerprints (and in turn Shanahan’s) off of it.

Regardless of how the dots connect as to the latest report out of Washington, here’s how the dots connect going forward.  Snyder is going to fire Shanahan.  We wouldn’t be surprised if it happens later today, if the Redskins lose to the Chiefs.

Really, what else is Snyder going to do?  He’s been openly disrespected.  If that was enough to prompt Joe Pesci to riddle Spider with bullets, it’s enough to get Snyder to fire Shanahan.

At a minimum, it’s enough to get Snyder to angrily demand answers as to how in the hell this got reported, setting the stage for a showdown between a pair of strong-willed, wealthy men.

And here’s where it could get even more interesting.  Snyder could try to fire Shanahan with cause, stiffing Shanahan out of his $7 million for 2014.  It wouldn’t be the first time Shanahan was blocked from a buyout, and if Snyder can prove that Shanahan was involved in leaking the story, maybe Snyder can convince the Commissioner to side with the Redskins.

Regardless, it’s now clear that Shanahan wants out.  And if this maneuver doesn’t work, maybe he should spill strawberry sauce all over Sammy Baugh’s uniform and/or drag the three Lombardi Trophies around the parking lot by the bumper of Shanahan’s car.

43 responses to “Report: Shanahan was ready to leave Redskins in January

  1. It’s going to take a LOT of Snyder’s money to get a good NFL coach to take this job.

  2. shanahan is trying to make himself look good for his next gig by making his failure in d,c, look like snyder’s fault

  3. Too bad he did not quit last year, as he would have been a perfect fit for the Bears, and Jay Cutler. However I like what Mark Trestman is doing with the offense.

  4. NFL Coaching life without John Elway at quarterback is tough. However if Mike Shanahan still wants to quit I’m sure it’s not to late…

  5. Actually, Graziano shouldn’t be that surprising of a medium for this story to come out. He’s listed as ESPN’s blogger for the Giants, but before they went to a one person per team set up this year, he was their NFC East blogger. In other words, he’d have his own contacts amongst the coaching staff and the players, but he wouldn’t have to worry about Snyder or the front office freezing him out for posting this story.

  6. What’s changed, Shanahan is the same coach he was last year, this year RG II plus one thinks he’s bigger then the team, there are a lot of teams that would love to have Shanahan, hope you do go.

  7. There’s an easy way to engineer a firing (and payment of the remaining salary). Shanahan only needs to say he wants the team to change their name.

    Seriously, local broadcasters are saying this report is just Shanahan trying to make Little Danny fire him, possibly as soon as today, so he can interview for the Houston job.

    I think we can safely say this relationship, like all of Little Danny’s, is effectively over.

  8. Dan Snyder has had seven different Head Coaches in the time that he has owned the Washington franchise and not a single one of them has a winning record for their time with Little Danny. Clearly, it’s all the coach’s fault!

  9. You can’t use one of these guys, Snyder and Shanahan, to excuse the lameness of the other. Snyder is responsible for having a celebrity, entitlement-oriented culture that has been turning RG3 into a diva. Shanahan is responsible for having a team that stank long before RG3 was even in his senior year and having a steady steam of failed PED tests, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, shanked punts, and the like.

    When Dumb and Dumber start pointing fingers at each other, you need to get rid of both of them.

  10. No wonder Bob had his way in coming back well before he was ready because his ego demanded it jus to keep up with Adrian Peterson. No wonder Bob demanded to play on Snyder’s horrible turf with a knee injury and Shanny couldn’t do anything about it.

    There’s a reason why meddlesome owners like Als Davis, Jurrah Jones, and Snyder have mad their franchises a joke.

  11. Supposed Franchise QB that is a confirmed Diva and a habitual jock sniffing Owner equals a joke NFL team and the 20+ years of misery that is being a Redskins Fan.

    For those of you that are fans of bona fide NFL franchises, enjoy it and never take it for granted.

  12. “Too bad he did not quit last year, as he would have been a perfect fit for the Bears, and Jay Cutler. ”

    Yep, he’d have been a great match with Jay Quitler.

  13. Shanahan is such a bum. Yes, the reason the redskins suck is because of RG3 and Snyder. After all it was their decision to switch to the 3-4 and hire your son, right? Which one is in charge of the worst special teams in the league? Which one is in charge of clock management? Griffin or Snyder? Yeah, let’s just forget that the only decent season he had here was when his diva QB was playing out of his mind. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out you red faced loser Too bad he didn’t quit before the playoff game. Then maybe we’d have a healthy RGIII.

  14. Im soo fed up with this franchise. 1 step forward, two steps back. Disfunction all of my adult life watching this team make a mockery of a once proud team. Wish i could convince myself to pick a new team but for better or worse i’m stuck with them. Im convinced ill never see them win another super bowl and we will continue to be a laughing stock. Can we please get a new owner that will get the hell out of the way. Will he ever learn? For someone who grew up a skins fan, he sure has screwed them up! UGH

  15. Are you kidding me?! Hell, Shanahan and his son should have been fired already! What owner in his right mind is going to pay a coach $7 million a year for a LOSING record?! The only good year was last year and that’s because RG3 played his ass off! You get rid of Carlos Rodgers, you sit Fed Davis because you have some type of beef with him, you misuse the draft picks by picking another QB instead of a offensive lineman, your offense is a COLLEGE offense and your players have basically quit on you; as if Washington should be so lucky to have a has been coach?!

  16. Sure you were ready to quit, Mike. Keep feeding your media buddies stories so that you try to win the PR battle of not being blamed for your career being a train wreck without John Elway and John Beake to hold your hand. Snyder hasn’t stood down as much as he has during Shanahan’s tenure besides Schottenheimer’s one year. It’s absolutely absurd that this idiot is trying to scapegoat somebody else, again like he did every year after Elway retired when he fired his defensive coordinator and the national media still hasn’t caught onto how much of a fraud he is. Al Davis did warn you about him though 25 years ago. Next story from one of Shanahan’s media mouthpieces, Shanahan never really wanted to be the Washington coach.

  17. one thing Shanny was right about: Snyder obsessing about RG3-9 is crazy…. esp with all the historical examples of college scramblers who didn’t make it in the NFL

  18. Well said granadafan. Teams are where they are because of leadership. See other teams like the Patriots and Broncos.

    Let’s not leave off an owner that aspires to join this distinctive list: Jim Irsay. He’s never met a microphone he didn’t like and want to use. He also threw his former coaching staff and best player and best guy the franchise ever had under the bus. Daddy gave him the keys to the Colts car and now he is a legend in his own mind.

  19. Anybody in the coaching business who foists their own kid – as a player or a coach – is suspect. Anyone who dumb enough to hire them, but meddlesome enough so they’re not wholly accountable, is plain stupid.

    Snyder and Shanny kind of deserve each other that way. I wonder what RGIII could have been playing for another team? Between the coaching and the mileage, his playmaking stock is going down as a Hog. If anyone should escape that franchise, it’s him.

  20. This reeks of Shanahan trying to cover his butt. I mean are we supposed to believe he cleaned out his office before the playoff game last year with 14 million dollars of salary left on the table? If he gets himself fired, he still gets paid for the rest of his contract. If he quits he gets nothing. If this story is true it means he quit on his team before the Seattle game last year. It puts whole new, and potentially problematic spin on RGIII being left in the game after being injured last year.

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