‘Skins likely trying to unload McNabb this offseason


Saturday, February 26, 2011
Posted: 2:11 p.m.
By Reuben FrankCSNPhilly.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- It hasnt even been 11 months since Redskins coach Mike Shanahan crowed about stealing Donovan McNabb from the Eagles.

I didnt think thered be an opportunity to get Donovan, Shanahan said at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., back on April 6. I was a little bit surprised.

Looks like theres about to be another opportunity for a team to get Donovan.

Because the Redskins now appear to be trying to unload McNabb this offseason, just one season after they acquired him from the Eagles.

Shanahan, meeting with reporters covering the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium, said he met in Indianapolis with McNabbs agent earlier this week but hasnt even spoken to McNabb himself since the Redskins season ended nearly two months ago.

Not a word.

Since coaches and players wont be allowed to speak to each other starting March 4 -- barring a new CBA -- Shanahan is facing quite an extended silence with the quarterback who less than a year ago he compared to John Elway and Steve Young, who both won their first Super Bowl late in their career.

Asked when a decision will be made about McNabbs future, Shanahan said, If I had to guess, I would say well take care of it right after the draft. But it could be before.

The Redskins own the 10th pick in this years draft and Shanahan hasnt made it a secret hes considering taking a quarterback.

Although the Redskins signed McNabb to a contract extension in November technically worth 78.5 million over five years, if they release him or trade him this offseason, theyll only owe him 3.75 million.

Shanahan spoke glowingly Friday about some of the quarterbacks available in this years draft -- a lot more glowingly than hes spoken about McNabb in recent months.

He said Cam Newton has all the skill youd want in a quarterback and said Jake Locker reminds him of his former Broncos QB Jake Plummer and can do things outside the pocket that most quarterbacks cant do.

He also said hes planning on rebuilding his roster with guys that want to be a part of this football team long term, which Donovan has made clear he isnt.

And Shanahan allowed that, We want to try to get younger, which wouldnt apply to a quarterback whos going to be 35 in the middle of this coming season.

So McNabb, who was picked to his sixth Pro Bowl team just a year ago and ranks 15th in NFL history with 36,250 passing yards, appears headed to his third NFL team in three years -- but perhaps not as a starter.

The Redskins shipped the Eagles two draft picks last spring in exchange for McNabb. With the 37th pick last year, they took promising safety Nate Allen. They also got an extra fourth-round pick in this years draft.

In his first year with the Redskins, McNabb threw for 260 yards per game -- third-highest of his career -- but threw a career-high 15 interceptions and just 14 touchdowns. The Redskins went 5-8 in his 13 starts before Shanahan turned to Rex Grossman the rest of the season.

Thats when things got ugly between Shanahan and McNabb and agent Fletcher Smith, who represents McNabb. Shanahan said he and Smith met here in Indianapolis to sort everything out and discuss McNabbs future.

We talked for about an hour and a half, and I thought I had a great conversation with him, said Shanahan, whose teams have won one playoff game in his last 11 seasons as a head coach.

Obviously we had a lot of quotes that were out there over the course of the season. I was able to address questions he had, and I thought the conversation went well.

Well let time take care of itself and well get a chance to spend some more time together in the near future.
E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

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