Shanahan: I wanted Peyton, settled for RG3 trade


Trading up for Robert Griffin III was not Mike Shanahan’s first choice when considering who his quarterback would be in Washington in 2012.

Shanahan said on ESPN 980 that what he really wanted was to sign Peyton Manning after he was released by the Colts. Shanahan thinks he and Manning were on the same page and that a deal could have been done, except for one problem: Peyton didn’t want to be in the same division as his brother, Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

“We were talking to Peyton at that time. That was a strong consideration,” Shanahan said. “But at the end of the day I felt that with Eli being with the Giants he wasn’t coming in our direction.”

That’s when Washington started looking to trade up and draft Griffin. But that trade, Shanahan said, was a huge risk.

“I did not feel good about giving up two No. 1s and a No. 2, and they all knew I felt that way,” Shanahan said. “I said, ‘Hey, yeah, I would take the chance. But I want you to know that he’s really going to have to commit to what we’re doing.'”

In fact, Shanahan said he wouldn’t have given up all those draft picks if he’d known that the NFL was about to dock Washington $36 million in cap space as a penalty for the way the team structured contracts during the uncapped season in 2010.

“I don’t think you could have,” Shanahan said when asked if he would have traded away all those picks knowing about the impending salary cap penalty. “When you get penalized like we did, you can’t bring any players in.”

Shanahan said that Washington was very high on five quarterbacks in that draft: Griffin, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins. They ultimately drafted both Griffin and Cousins, and Shanahan said they strongly considered taking Wilson in the third round, before the Seahawks drafted him. If Washington had pulled the trigger on that pick, it would have greatly changed the fortunes of two franchises.

Although Shanahan said he liked Griffin coming out of Baylor, he also noted some problems that they had with Griffin in Washington. A big one is that Griffin bristled at having to run the read-option, even though that was often what Griffin did best. Shanahan said that when Cousins played in place of an injured Griffin during their rookie season, Griffin was bothered by the fact that they called a different style of offense for Cousins.

Shanahan also said he felt at times that Griffin wasn’t being forthright with him about the health of his injured knee, and that Griffin would get upset when Shanahan would ask him to keep him posted about whether his knee was hurting him. Shanahan said that he ultimately called fewer read-option plays because he was worried about Griffin’s knee, even though Griffin was telling him that he was fine.

Ultimately, Shanahan sounds like a coach who feels like he never got exactly what he wanted at the quarterback position after four years in Washington.

106 responses to “Shanahan: I wanted Peyton, settled for RG3 trade

  1. Twenty five teams wanted manning. In the end he took the team with the best offensive line. Hell, Tebow won a playoff game with that line

  2. Perhaps they should change their name to the Washington Redfaces, to reflect the embarrassment the fans feel about the past few years.

  3. He also sounds like someone who blames everyone else for the mess he was part of. “I agreed to the trade, but I didn’t like how it turned out.” Classic Shanny.

  4. ‘ they strongly considered taking Wilson in the third round, before the Seahawks drafted him. If Washington had pulled the trigger on that pick, it would have greatly changed the fortunes of two franchises.’

    This is stated as fact, but i strongly disagree. RW would be just another guy in DC, or most teams. Certainly not somoene that would have changed the direction of the franchise.

    Flip side, RGMe would have won a ton of games in Seattle, maybe even a Super Bowl based on the fact that they have the best roster top to bottom, good coaching and a good front office.

    Lets stop acting like RW is more than he really is.

  5. So in other words you still agreed to the trade.

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Of course it seems simple looking back now.

    Why anyone would take a job for Snyder in the first place is beyond me. You should have seen it coming that you would have no power in decision making.

  6. I don’t think it would have changed the fortune of the redskins franchise necessarily if they had drafted Russell Wilson. The coaching, playcalling, and surrounding pieces would still be trash right now.

  7. Well it’s kinda hard to find the perfect QB in this league. There’s a reason that Brady, Rodgers, and Manning play for teams that are never hiring new head coaches (except Manning this past offseason). Good QB’s keep their head coaches employed.

    New head coaches usually take over teams with bad QB situations.

  8. Shanahan with the mind games as always.

    You’re the COACH. If you have to call different plays for QB’s then that’s on you as a COACH! It’s your job!

  9. In a sense he was set up to fail which seems to be a common thing with people in the Skins franchise. But he was paid very, very well to succeed, and I think the failure still falls on him.

  10. “Peyton didn’t want to be in the same division as his brother, Giants quarterback Eli Manning.”

    Its kind of easy to see, when they are both

  11. Griffen might have gotten hurt regardless, but that travesty they call a football field didn’t do his knee any favors.

  12. “Ultimately, Shanahan sounds like a coach who feels like he never got exactly what he wanted at the quarterback position after four years in Washington.”


    I think a better way to put it would be he’s a coach who feels like he never got exactly what he wanted after four years in Washington. It wasn’t just about the quarterback.

  13. Peyton has always said that he is an AFC guy so I doubt that he would have gotten him anyways.

    But they NEEDED to draft a QB that year. Hindsight is 20/20, but when you consider tht John Beck and Rex Grossman were the other alternatives, the trade itself for a potential franchise guy was a must.

  14. Just as well they didn’t end up together, the Peyton Manning playoff collapse face running into the Shanahan bitter failure face might have torn a hole in the universe.

  15. Shanahan said that when Cousins played in place of an injured Griffin during their rookie season, Griffin was bothered by the fact that they called a different style of offense for Cousins.


    That’s because they DID run a different offense with Cousins. RG3 is right here. Any outside observer could see that.

  16. I was going to buy Apple and Google stock about 10 years ago, but then I didn’t….but I wanted to.

  17. Good for Peyton and his decision to go to the Denver team. Even with those draft picks the Redskins would have not been as talented as the team he landed with. It would have been sad to see Peyton suffer through the last few years of his career.

  18. it would of changes the fortunes of both franchises? You mean Wilson would of choked in Washington instead of Seattle??
    All those QB’s suck from the draft, The ONLY reason why Russell won a superbowl is because of his defense. We seen what happens when you put the ball in his hands when it matters. He will always be known as the guy that can’t win when the game is in his hands. RG3 I knew would be a bust, He played against bad teams in college, He is just another Mike Vick but he does not want to be vick and that is what will hold him back forever. Andre Luck is the most OVER RATED QB I have ever seen. This guy get’s all this praise yet he is another one that can’t win when it counts. Luck plays in the worst division in The NFL even The Browns or Raiders would go to the playoffs every year if they were in that weak division..Luck is beyond dumb too, the guy is a complete moron just listen to him speak.You seen what happens when The Colts play a good team in the playoffs, they get routed. Tannenhill is another guy that will never win a super bowl but I think he is the best QB of that group but personally I would never draft a QB that never watched NFL growing up and did not even know who was in his own division.. I will say last years Draft class for QB’s will ultimately show they are the superior group. Derek Carr, Blake Bortles and Bridgewater are going to be the elite QB’s in the next 5-6 years

  19. Not much of a Shanahan fan, but what he says about Peyton makes sense. Of course, who didn’t want Peyton….I mean besides what Harbaugh said?
    The fickle finger of fate.

  20. I never thought he was a GOOD head coach but an ok one. I don’t think he’s a good evaluator of talent, for the most part, especially QBs (heinherited John Elway.). And the QBs he’s drafted haven’t worked out. Those GMs also bear some blame about those bad drafts.

  21. I had to go back into the office as they hit the first commercial break this afternoon. I thought it was the first time Shanny had been honest with the Washington media ever.

    Maybe I’m naive but I found the interview and segment was well done and provided some good information.

  22. Shannahan has been a productive coach through most of his career. RG3 may be a bit of “me” type player, but it’s awfully convenient to come out and say he wanted what turned out to be the most productive QB’s from that draft class, after the fact. Hindsight is 20/20. Then to say you were close to a deal with Peyton Manning and the only reason they didn’t come to a deal was Peyton didn’t want to play in the same division as his brother. Peyton ultimately went to a team he thought he had the best chance to win a SB, with a line that could protect his ailing behind. End of story. Sorry Shannahan, most of us aren’t buying what you’re selling.

  23. And he was so bitter about it he put RG3 out there and let him run around with a ruined leg and nearly ended his damn career.

    I can’t believe people still think this clown was a decent coach.

  24. Maybe Shannahan should have let Cousins finish that playoff game when they were up 14-0 instead of sending in the Obviously injured QB they sold their future on when he clearly couldn’t plant on that knee, thus injuring him worse, jeopardizing the teams future, and ultimately losing the game.

  25. Blaming everyone else for a trade as stupid as the RG3 trade is not going to endear himself to a league he is desperately trying to get back into. I believe Shanahan wanted Tannehill in that draft, which might not be a whole lot better.

  26. Shanahan has been doing this most of his career. How many defensive coordinators did he fire there at the end, Denver fans? I think it was like 6 or 7 straight seasons. Also, let’s not mention that Elway hates him, along with many of his other former players.

  27. RG III would bounce back just fine if put in the right situation and offense. I think he would be a perfect fit for either the Bucs, Titans or Texans.

  28. Shanahan sounds like a coach who leans on 20/20 hindsight to reverse-engineer the opinions he wants everyone to believe he had.

  29. He’ll tell ya… He’s the reason he’s won and it’s everyone else’s fault he’s lost.

    Makes me want to smack fellow giants fans who say we should can coughlin.

  30. Shanahan continues to dream up his version of history.

    Manning is no dummy cuz he also knew that Shanahan would have mess with and try to tinker with Manning’s offense and his mechanics and then claim any successanning acheived on the field only happened because Shanahan “coached” Manning.

    That is why Manning avoided Shanahan and Whisenhunt who also views himsrlf as a QB genuis. Manning picked Denver when Elway promised Manning in writing that Manning could install and run his own offense.

    Shanahan was never a consideration at all.

    Shanahan is such a loser to keep hiding behind woulda, shoulda, and coulda after all of this time.

  31. Shanahan is trying to have it both ways. He contractually was given the full control of the team that he demanded but yet wants to escape culpability for the decisions that were made during his tenure. Shady Shanny.

  32. Say what you want about Shannahan, but as a Patriot fan he was the only coach I worried about when he faced us. That guy knew exactly where we were weak and he would attack it. Belichick has praised the guy for years. But I agree, he needs to shut his mouth.

  33. settling for a disappointing quarterback after being shunned by Peyton. The Jets have a treasured history of that

  34. Well that would’ve been nice, I wouldn’t have to be angry during football season anymore as I watch my team continue to lose game after game.

  35. This guy is still making excuses…

    Nonsense. Shanahan is merely pointing out decisions were made that were out of his control and it was Shanahan that was forced to adapt to those decisions, and how they later turned out to be bad decisions to the WA franchise.

    As if you can’t see that…typical pft pessimistic post.

  36. Mike should have known he was going to an awful organization led by dysfunctional ownership. He just took the first job available and paid the price.

  37. Shanahan Inherited Elway, otherwise he would not have been a SuperBowl winner. Look at the numerous SB rings Shanahan have won since Elway retired….. Oops, my bad Mike won zero. As to his not knowing the cap problem, too bad I didn’t buy that bridge in NYC, I could have sold it to him. I was also on the ground floor when Microsoft and Apple offered their Shares, I came within inches of buying in for 10% but I passed. The only good thing coming out of all this in not landing Peyton is it would have save Peyton another one and done and the humiliation of the blowout suffered at the hands of the Seahawks.

  38. I just don’t think The Washington NFL Redskins Football Organization had any chance of landing Peyton. It’s the owner, not the fans.

  39. a072455 says: Feb 18, 2015 3:42 PM

    Shanahan Inherited Elway, otherwise he would not have been a SuperBowl winner.
    Yes, because Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips won SO MANY Super Bowls with Elway as their QB. Like him or not, Shanny was the one that built a team around Elway designed to run the bowl first and let Elway succeed with play action passing. People also forget he was one, Jake Plummer bad game, away from returning to the Super Bowl with… Jake Plummer. He also made Cutler and Griese look like Pro Bowl QB’s. Give the man a little bit of credit please.

  40. “Let me tell you one more excuse why I’ve sucked as a head coach since John Elway retired Terrell Davis got hurt. This guy’s the biggest joke in coaching ever.”

    Fixed it for you. Davis made the backstabbing-buddies Shanahan and Elway champions.

  41. I am no Skins are Cowboys fan but the fines the received for the uncapped year was awful. Nobody should be punished for not following an “unwritten rule”!

  42. jason9696 says:
    Feb 18, 2015 1:40 PM

    If the Washington Redskins had drafted Russell Wilson. I wonder who the QB of the Seattle Seahawks would be right now?
    They had already signed Matt Flynn before that draft, but I don’t think he was going to pan out here anyway – especially with the OL he would have been behind. Legend has it that Seattle GM John Schneider wanted to draft RW in Round 2, but was convinced they could get Bobby Wagner in 2 and Wilson in 3. Big gamble that paid off. Eagles also planned to take him that round supposedly.
    I’m guessing that if the ‘Skins DID draft him, Schneider would have made them an offer they couldn’t refuse to trade him to Seattle. After drafting both Griffin and Cousins in addition to how much they gave the Rams, pretty sure they would have gladly recouped some picks.

  43. I’m going to bet here that Shanahan either making this Manning story up or, at the least, embellishing it a great deal. Manning’s leaving the Colts and picking a team was closely followed at the time and no mention was ever made of his even considering Washington. Since Shanahan controlled the narrative in DC at the time it’ll be hard to find anyone to confirm his story. Plus, since it was obvious Manning had stated he didn’t want to be on a team in his brothers division, there would never be a chance he’d play for the Skins, and never had any type of talks or further with them. Nearly every coach in the NFL would have wanted to get Manning, so Shanahan is just repeating that common desire of all coaches. Shanahan didn’t take his getting canned from the Skins very well. He’s been on a mission since to rehab his reputation, often at the expense of others and the truth. His time in DC proved he isn’t a very good coach, yet he insists nothing there was his fault. Etc, etc, etc.

  44. The QB didn’t want to run a read option offense? Maybe you should have listened to him. He might’ve had some insight or concerns that you weren’t aware of coach.

  45. Mike should have lunch with Bill Parcells and Brian Billick one day. All three can wear their respective rings and talk about the greatness of their coaching brilliance (and no one at the table will listen). All three will blame owners and GMs for not giving them the players they wanted.
    Yes Mike, I’m sure that you had Peyton itching to get the opportunity to respond to your coaching genius. RG3 – 13 still thinks you’re the greatest, too.
    When food is kept past its expiry date, it is quietly tossed in the trash. However, former coaches don’t disappear so easily.

  46. “I’m trying to be as honest as I can. I don’t normally do that.” Mike Shanahan quote. Yep. That’s the real truth.

  47. I hate the Red Lobster, but even Chris Cooley stated RGIII faked an injury in an Eagles game to ask to change from running the Option package.

    He wasn’t good enough to be a pocket QB because he never had to read complex NFL Defenses.

    Cooley stated Shanny couldn’t help if RGIII decided he wasn’t going to run the option.

    But he didn’t have the guts to make him or bench him….

  48. This guy rolled into a season with Rex Grossman (without the Bear defense behind him) and John Beck as his answers to the QB question. Yes, that John Beck that couldn’t play in the league. He actually thought he might be a starter. Yeah, but he’s a great coach instead of a piece of garbage like he continues to illustrate whenever he opens his mouth, and his son exemplifies all of those bad traits he instilled in him so well. Shanahan had it in his contract that he had final say over the roster, but yeah I’m sure Bruce Allen who doesn’t know anything about personnel and Snyder who actually jettisoned his homie, Vinnie Cerrato, at Shanahan’s request would risk breaching a contract that Snyder would have owed the balance of if they violated it. Tell me another story, Mike.

  49. The biggest mistake the skins have made in the last 15 years is canning Marty…hell of a coach…

    Gibbs proved in his 2nd stint he could still do it…

    Shanny wanted the power, got the power, built the roster to his liking, and was a failure…HE drafted Bobby G….his mistake was in the power…his son, time after time, would run Morris well in the 1st half of games…then almost nothing in the 2nd half of games…Shanny would’ve done well to not hire his son, and stuck to his roots of running the ball…in any case, it’s funny how he waits till he’s officially off the payroll to talk smack after collecting all his 35 mill …

    Meanwhile, Marty gets canned after a 14-2 season in SD…

  50. Well turns out Shanahan was a genious who had all control but yet no control huh… He knew they shouldn’t have drafted RG3, He knew they shouldn’t have picked up McNabb, he also knew they should’ve picked up Manning well until they couldn’t. Man this guy is pathetic

  51. Shanahan is such a liar! they drafted Robert before Manning went on his tour. He met with Snyder and Shanny rat at Shannys house in Denver the night Manning was there in Denver. Manning turned ned them down and signed with Denver because they drafted Robert griffin… Nice try the but Skins fans indeed remember.. Oh and Shanny had final say over roster personel… So throw everyone under the bus so you can get another her job!

  52. Manning would be on life support at a local Washington D.C. hospital if he played behind Washington’s o-line and that supporting cast.

  53. I think 2/3 of the teams would have taken RG3 over Andrew Luck. If the Seahawks didn’t draft Russell Wilson, he might have fallen into the fifth or sixth round. Who knows. The funny thing is now everyone hated RG3 and loved Russell. I’m waiting for everyone to come out now and say how much they loved Odell Beckham and DeMarco Murray.

  54. Given the present circumstances surrounding RG3, anyone would claim that they wanted Peyton. Shanahan drooled all over RG3 until he got hurt and didn’t return to his old self.

  55. Bet every word is true – Shanahan is too smart to lie as being caught in a lie is a vulnerability. When you lay your case out to the judge like shanny did you want it air tight. Nothing we didn’t know: McNabb was fat and lazy as was Hanesworth. RGTHREE was a prima donna. Only question is did RG3 suck in the offense because he sucked or because Shanahan didn’t give him enough time. One thing is for sure Rob the Redskins wouldn’t have had the success he had if Shanahan hadn’t given him an offense that was the equivalent of girl push-ups. In hindsight this mobile running athletic quarterback would have been better served by being the understudy of the cerebral leader of men Kirk Cousins. Still takes intelligence to play the position. See: Rusty Wilson’s Super Bowl pick.

  56. Shanahan questionable QB decsions
    1. Flip flopping Schroeder and Beurelien
    2. Inexperienced Brian Griese over battletested Bubby Brister
    3. Dynamic but int prone Jake Plummer over steady Brian Griese
    4. Untested Jay Cutler over Jake Plummer during a playoff run
    5. Old grumpy Mcnabb over young malleable Campbell
    6. Erratic Grossman over grumpy but steady Mcnabb
    7. Went into a season with unknown Beck and erratic Grossman as QBs
    8. Could have had Kaepernick a bigger stronger RG3 and passed
    9. Drafted RG3 and also undermined him by drafting Cousins
    10. Benched RG3 for Cousins who turned out to be INT prone

    No Mike its not them its you.

  57. Bob Griffin is a mediocre prima donna, and going into Shanarat’s office and telling him certain plays were “unacceptable” shows his lack of intelligence.

    That being said, Shanarat was available to go back to Denver with Elway pulling the strings, and you see the route the Broncos took. This guy is a controlling, throw-my-people-under-the-bus-and-make-excuses kind of guy.

  58. Peyton Manning is the most over-rated player in sports history. Look at his performances when all the eggs are on the table (i.e., plahyoff and superbowl games) and this guy is as average as they come. And to me, those are the time you should be able to take your game to an even higher level of play, but not him. He does his best work during the regular season when teams are not as honed in as they would be in playoff games. Good player, but I would not even put him in the great catergory. And if you look at how many td’s he has from 5 yards or closer and he is by far the run away leader. he is a STAT HOG!!!!!!

  59. “tonebones says: Feb 18, 2015 10:20 PM

    I think 2/3 of the teams would have taken RG3 over Andrew Luck. If the Seahawks didn’t draft Russell Wilson, he might have fallen into the fifth or sixth round. Who knows. The funny thing is now everyone hated RG3 and loved Russell. I’m waiting for everyone to come out now and say how much they loved Odell Beckham and DeMarco Murray.”
    Right about Wilson but no, Luck was the heavy favorite for number one pick. He was considered a pro ready sure thing. Beckham was highly thought of as well, after all he went 12th and was the third receiver chosen in a very deep draft.Lots of people loved him. As for Murrray the only question was if he could stay healthy for an entire season.

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