Both played decently during training camp, but Turner, already leaning heavily toward Frerotte, went with him. He believed that Frerotte would make fewer mistakes. The Redskins were going to win or lose on the strength of their running game and their defense's ability to keep things close. The last thing Turner wanted was a gambling, freewheeling quarterback.
For all practical purposes, Shuler's career in Washington was over. He was in for just one play in 1996, and when the season ended, he exercised an escape clause in his contract. He visited several teams before agreeing to a deal with the New Orleans Saints. When the 1996 season opened, the Redskins suffered an immediate, 14-7 defeat at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. At that point, Turner, with a 9-24 record, was beginning to feel some heat.
Even Cooke, who had backed him for so long, got angry. After three straight seasons of losses, Cooke was running out of patience, especially while he was building a new stadium in a Maryland suburb outside Washington. It wasn't going to be just a stadium but a palace, complete with 78,600 seats, including luxury suites, expensive club seating and other amenities.