This would be the last big gamble of Shanahan’s career in Washington, his last shot to get the most important position on the field right after being wrong thus far (trading for McNabb in 2010, settling on Rex Grossman and John Beck in 2011).
The difference between Manning taking Washington to the postseason and being another high-priced star from elsewhere who flames out is the difference between Shanahan finishing his five-year contract in Washington and the premature end of another failed regime under Snyder.
It’s the difference between Shanahan being able to make good on his goal of turning the franchise around — and perhaps handing the head job to his son — and a tremendously disappointing period that did more to hurt than help Shanahan’s Hall of Fame candidacy.
The fact that Shanahan is this serious about Manning at this juncture of “the build” would have me worried if I were Manning. It would signal he feels he needs to win now rather than endure the lumps involved in grooming a future franchise quarterback.
And if you’re Manning, wouldn’t you wonder where that pressure was coming from?
On one level, they would be all-in together. With Snyder’s checkbook at their disposal, Manning and Shanahan would be trying to bolster their legacies and electrify a disenchanted fan base almost overnight.
On the other, this has Michael Jordan Goes to Washington written all over it. Lots of buzz and jerseys sold, little progress, no playoffs and ultimately another bad ending.
Consider all your options carefully, Peyton. Go through all your progressions. And when it comes to genuinely considering playing for Shanahan, do what you do best: pass.
Shanahan needs to get younger at the quarterback position, not older. And you can do better.
For previous Mike Wise columns, go to washingtonpost.com/wise.
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