Shanahan has faced an uncertain future throughout much of his team’s tumultuous 2013 campaign, but chances of returning has seemed to dwindle in the past three weeks. Now with Washington riding a seven-game losing streak and questions still lingering about the health of his relationship with owner Daniel Snyder and quarterback Robert Griffin III, Shanahan’s career with the Redskins appears to dangle by a thread.
During the first half of his team’s second-half skid, and as recently as the second week of December, Shanahan maintained that despite his record, he saw himself as worthy of returning for the fifth year of his contract. But as things have continued to unravel and reports of strife within the organization has leaked out, Shanahan has declined to discuss his future.
Echoing his stance whenever asked about the topic, Shanahan on Sunday said, “I’ll address all those other things that we’ve talked about over the last few weeks after I talk to [Snyder] and we’ll go from there.”
Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen have declined interview requests in recent weeks. So it remains unclear what kind of timeline Shanahan and the organization are facing. A number of Shanahan’s assistants said that they have yet to be told what to expect following the Giants game or regarding their futures.
Shanahan did say on Monday that once he does meet with Snyder, a resolution on his future likely will come quickly.
“I’m sure it will,” Shanahan said on Monday. “I’m sure it will, but you’ll have to ask Dan to make sure. I can’t answer that.”
Despite the uncertainty, Shanahan said his approach in the final week will not change. Because of Christmas falling on a Wednesday, the Redskins will practice on Tuesday (their normal day off) and then team headquarters will be closed on Christmas.
But otherwise, Shanahan said he and his staff will prepare their players to compete at the highest level. Although the Redskins were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in the first week of December, Shanahan has continued to play his veterans while keeping young, unproven players on the bench.
His has maintained the stance that players should earn playing time based on practice performance, and that the final games of the season shouldn’t be used to prepare young players for the future, or evaluate their talent.
Shanahan said on Monday that nothing has changed in that regard.
Shanahan is owed $7 million for the final year of his contract, and it’s believed that his assistants are owed a combined $6 million. Snyder would either need to fire Shanahan and his staff and agree to pay out that money, or reach a settlement where Shanahan would agree to part ways for a lesser figure.
It remains to be seen if Shanahan would agree to such a deal, however.
Despite the mixed messages that have leaked out from Shanahan’s camp in recent weeks, the coach on Monday expressed a desire to remain with the Redskins going forward.
“I’ve told you from Day 1, I love these guys and we’ve been working extremely hard to put this thing together,” Shanahan said. “We’ve had a couple bumps, which we all know, with the salary cap. But I’m looking forward to building this football team. But, like I said, it’s a situation where I’ll get a chance to sit down with Dan at the end of the season, and we’ll go from there.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
● Updates on Nick Barnett, Brian Orakpo injuries.
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