The Owner's Favorite
- Jun 30, 2009
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- Raleigh, NC
This article appeared in this evening's Denver Post online:
Article link:http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14020216Shanahan appears headed to Redskins
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Posted: 12/17/2009 05:17:48 PM MST
Updated: 12/17/2009 05:34:25 PM MST
Mike Shanahan (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file photo)
Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan has been in discussions to become the Washington Redskins' next head coach, according to two NFL sources.
The two sides still have some issues to work through, however, before an agreement is reached. The 4-9 Redskins long have been eliminated from playoff contention and have three games remaining with coach Jim Zorn.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder began housecleaning Wednesday with Bruce Allen replacing Vinny Cerrato as general manager. One NFL source said that when Shanahan spoke with the Buffalo Bills last month about their new front-office/coaching openings, Allen was to be included in the package there.
The Allen-Shanahan partnership appears ready to take control of the struggling, but tradition-rich franchise in the nation's capital.
Shanahan was the Broncos' coach for 14 seasons, winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997-98, until he was fired after his third consecutive non-playoff appearance last season.
Allen was Tampa Bay's GM for five seasons until he was fired after last season.
At first glance, the Redskins' GM change Wednesday seemed to hurt Shanahan's chances of becoming the head coach there because he had a close relationship with Cerrato dating back to their days with the San Francisco 49ers. Allen, meanwhile, was well-connected to former coach Jon Gruden for several years in Tampa Bay.
But Allen and Shanahan also have formed a strong relationship over the years. For starters, they may have shared some horror stories of Oakland Raiders' owner Al Davis. Shanahan was fired as head coach by Davis four games into the 1989 season. Allen, son of the late legendary head coach George Allen, worked in the Raiders' front office from 1995-2003.
Shanahan's son Kyle also got his NFL assistant coaching start with Allen and Gruden at Tampa Bay in 2004-05.
After the 2006 season, Shanahan sent disgruntled quarterback Jake Plummer to Tampa Bay for a seventh-round draft pick (which turned out to be Peyton Hillis) even though Plummer already had announced his retirement.
Tampa Bay agreed to the deal, however, in part because Allen and Gruden thought they could talk Plummer out of retirement, but also because they could recover up to $7 million in pro-rated signing bonus back from the quarterback for retiring before the end of his contract.
Such quirky trades are never made unless the two parties have built up a strong trust with one another. Plummer stayed retired and wound up reaching a settlement that forced him to write a $3.5 million check to the Bucs.
The Broncos have reason to monitor Shanahan's situation closely. After this season, he still would have two years and close to $14 million remaining on his contract with the Broncos. Should Shanahan receive a new contract as coach of the Redskins, the Broncos would receive an offset of at least a couple million dollars from what they owe their former coach.
Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.