If Mike Shanahan isn’t talking to reporters off the record, someone committed to his version of reality is.
The latest twist in the Godfather RGIII saga comes from Mike Silver of NFL Network, who reports that owner Daniel Snyder was the “impetus” for the trade that sent three first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Rams for the ability to trade up and draft Griffin.
We say in response, “Baloney.”
Shanahan has final say over the composition of the roster. If Shanahan didn’t want to trade for Griffin, all Shanahan had to do was say so. While standing pat for, say, Ryan Tannehill would have placed extra pressure on Shanahan to earn an extension, Shanahan should have taken a stand if the owner were trying to impose his unqualified will on the football operation.
Even if it’s true (and we doubt that it is), Shanahan forfeited the ability to complain about the decision to give up so much to get Griffin by ultimately signing off on the trade. If Snyder pushed the issue and Shanahan ultimately went along to get along, Shanahan opted to try to have it both ways.
If Griffin had worked out well (like he did last year), Shanahan could be regarded as a genius. If Griffin didn’t work out (like he didn’t this year), Shanahan or someone close to him could start leaking like a racehorse the notion that Shanahan didn’t want Griffin in the first place.
Snyder has remained silent throughout the past few days of dysfunction. At first, we thought he was making himself look bad by letting Shanahan make him look bad. The truth may be that Snyder has opted to simply let Shanahan make himself look bad, before firing Shanahan for cause.
And when Snyder fires Shanahan for cause and Shanahan files a grievance with Commissioner Goodell and reporters from other networks can’t be forced to disclose at the hearing whether Shanahan or someone close to him were leaking detrimental information, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with reporters who work directly for the league, and indirectly for the Redskins.