2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins stretch could determine Shanahan's fate

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-18 18:10

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan declined to comment Monday when asked if he's coaching for his job over the next six weeks or whether he's discussed his status with team owner Dan Snyder.

That hasn't stopped everyone else from talking about it.

The Redskins are on pace to finish last in the NFC East for the third time in Shanahan's four seasons in Washington, with the glow of last year's division title fading after Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The coach has one year remaining on a five-year, $35 million contract, leaving Snyder with a potentially tough call depending on how the rest of the season plays out.

With the record at 3-7, it's about time to stop trying to figure out how many wins the Redskins might need to make the playoffs. The next guessing game target: How many wins Shanahan might need to keep his job.

The coach made a case for himself Monday, saying he feels he has the franchise headed in the right direction. He also referenced how an NFL-imposed $36 million cap penalty has hurt the team's depth.

''In the future it will get better,'' Shanahan said, ''because we do have the ability to get more depth, we've got the ability to add some players on both sides of the football, and that gives you a chance to get better as a football team.''

What happens to Shanahan boils down to three scenarios: He gets a contract extension, he gets fired, or he gets no new deal but returns for the final year of his contract. Arguments can be made for all three:

- Shanahan could get an extension because he has successfully overhauled the dysfunctional culture he inherited when he took over the role of top decision-maker from former front office chief Vinny Cerrato. Shanahan also has put together a solid locker room with good leaders who will likely ensure the Redskins will play hard over the final six games.

- Shanahan might not return because his regular season record is 24-34, and seven of those wins were concentrated into an improbable run to the playoffs late last season. He and general manager Bruce Allen were responsible for the salary dump that led to the cap penalty. Shanahan finally has a franchise quarterback in Robert Griffin III, but only after misjudging badly the capabilities of Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman and John Beck.

- Snyder could split the difference and simply have Shanahan return for a fifth year without an extension, essentially putting the coach on notice that it's playoffs-or-bust next season. That would give Shanahan a full offseason to work with Griffin, who was limited this spring and summer following reconstructive knee surgery, as well as a regular free agency with money to spend. If the coach can't fix what's wrong under those conditions, then he's almost certainly done.

A year ago, Shanahan's future seemed certain.

The Shanahan-Griffin combo would make the Redskins perennial winners, perhaps Super Bowl champions, and the coach would eventually give way to his son, Kyle, who is currently the offensive coordinator.

Now they've reached a fork in the road. Win six straight to finish 9-7, then it's easier to lobby for an extension. Going .500 the rest of the way to get to 6-10 maybe buys another year. Stumble to 4-12 or 5-11, and the coach's days could be numbered.

In 2011, Shanahan revealed the pitch he made to Snyder for getting five years. It remains the coach's definitive word on his subject.

''When I first got here,'' Shanahan said, ''I said: `Dan, if you don't plan on me coaching here five years and doing it the right way, you're hiring the wrong guy.' It's going to take some time to do it right.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group