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Posted at 5:37 PM ET, 12/23/2010

Donovan McNabb's agent begins the exit strategy

By Rick Maese

Fletcher Smith, Donovan McNabb's agent, said a lot of things in the explosive 525-word statement he launched Thursday afternoon. And in between every line, one thing was clear: McNabb doesn't think he can co-exist with Mike and Kyle Shanahan beyond the 2010 season.

We've been talking to people familiar with both sides of the issue for several weeks now, and though McNabb has had very little to offer publicly, it's clear that he and the people in his camp have tired of media reports and anonymous sources that have questioned McNabb's ability to play quarterback. Smith's statement seemed to be a counterattack, intended to both defend his client and focus some attention on the Redskins' offensive coordinator.

McNabb hinted during his weekly radio show Tuesday that his relationship with Kyle Shanahan had become rocky at best. Smith made clear that the relationship raced passed the rocky stage long ago.

By saying that "this an extremely difficult relationship to maintain," Smith has effectively told the Redskins that McNabb can no longer play for either Mike or Kyle Shanahan. Thursday's statement was more about salvaging McNabb's future and his reputation in the NFL.

Media reports have suggested that McNabb couldn't grasp the Shanahans' offense and that, at 34 years of age, his skills might be declining. McNabb's camp couldn't afford to allow those reports to circulate without a response. McNabb expects to play somewhere next year and the statement from his agent was designed to defend what he'd spent 12 years building, while also making certain that 31 other teams realize that if there was a problem in Washington, it might not have been all his fault.

McNabb and his camp also know that the next move isn't theirs to make. To be sure, they'd prefer a gracious parting of ways, but the Redskins will be the ones who decide on the terms of any split. McNabb is under contract for next year, so it will be Shanahan who decides whether McNabb leaves via trade or whether he's simply released -- or whether he stays and becomes the most highly-paid No. 3 quarterback in league history next season.

While Shanahan may or may not have made up his mind about McNabb's future in Washington, the quarterback seems to realize that his relationship with the head coach and the offensive coordinator would make it nearly impossible for him to return and achieve any level of success here.

By Rick Maese  | December 23, 2010; 5:37 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Both sides of the issue" implies there is something at issue. I don't think there's an "issue" here; I think the issue has long been resolved with the Redskins' apparent decision to part ways with Donovan McNabb... and along the way, jerk him around a bit.

I would've gone with "both camps" since it's these guys versus these guys in what is now a lame PR exercise.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 23, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Agent quotes ... Toolbox of the unconnected journalist & malcontent player...?

Posted by: cray | December 23, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Maese is spot-on here. McNabb and his agent are trying to make sure he is employable (to someone) next year. Can't let the "rumors" of him declining and being unable to grasp a new offense build up steam.

Neither of them gets paid next year if they don't find some team to hire him. This is an effort in "it wasn't my fault".

Posted by: smurff11 | December 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

We're stuck with the shanahans, so hope they make it work. That said, Kyle has yet to prove a thing.

Last year, Houston had the #4 offense (#1 passing, #30 rushing). Andre/Shaub are pretty good.

This year, Houston is #5 overall (#5 passing, #10 rushing). They're doing fine without him.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Last year, Houston had the #4 offense (#1 passing, #30 rushing). Andre/Shaub are pretty good.

This year, Houston is #5 overall (#5 passing, #10 rushing). They're doing fine without him.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

And they were #3 overall in 2008...

Posted by: AdamCr | December 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Now that Fletcher Smith has returned fire, you can bet Shanny's move will be

-to keep McNabb on the roster;
-never let him play;
-make him run the scout team;
-McNabb will bristle at running the scout and a distracting media circus will ensue
-other teams will inquire about trading for him;
-Shanny will decline;
-he will wait until the trade deadline has passed and then deactivate him citing insubordination for failing to run the scout team effectively;
-the he'll be cut
-the Redskins would have spent another $16.5 million on top of this year's salary and the draft picks traded away and gotten zippo in return for one of the league's premiere talents at QB

But hey!

It's all part of the winning culture that Shanny is building around here!

Posted by: p1funk | December 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Smith has his work cut out finding a trade partner cuz he and DM5 have zero leverage. Nothing like a motivated shopper.

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah.

The dude wasn't wanted in Philly, he signed an extension here of his own volition, and has done nothing to improve this team.

It's hilarious that after only 13 crappy games in the burgundy and gold he feels is owed some measure of loyal from the team.

Modern pro sports is filled with too many cry-babies.

Trade him to whoever you can and get whatever you can for him.

He won't be missed.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | December 23, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

There is no exit strategy he signed the extension that gave the Skins all the leverage.

I will ask you guys one question if McNabb was playing great and the Skins were winning does he sign that same extension.

No f-cking way

He waits and makes the Skins pay out the a$$ for him.

He signed it because he is playing bad and new it was his best shot at making a lot of money next year.

Hold his rights until someone trades for him if there are no takers cut him the day before the first game.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Maese is spot-on here. McNabb and his agent are trying to make sure he is employable (to someone) next year. Can't let the "rumors" of him declining and being unable to grasp a new offense build up steam.

Neither of them gets paid next year if they don't find some team to hire him. This is an effort in "it wasn't my fault".

Posted by: smurff11 | December 23, 2010 5:56 PM |

To further the point, why in the hell would any coach bash away at a player that they intend to try and trade? Me thinks that there aare a lot of a hole media types in this city that LOVE to print all sorts of conjecture and BS just to get a stir.

Posted by: TheScamp75 | December 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Hope everybody doesn't hurt themselves jumping off the Rexwagon after he reverts back to form these last 2 games...

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 23, 2010 3:34 PM

It's not that peeps are on the Rexwagon, they just realized on Sunday what this offense could look like if the QB ran the plays called.

Rex is not the answer, but he can run the offense as called and help the coaches evaluate the other offensive players.

The other thing we learned on Sunday is that DM5 is part of the problem.

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

How's that "respect the veteran QB" thing working out in Minnesota...

Brett Favre runs that team and has run it into the ground...

I guess we should let McNabb continue to throw "dirtballs" until he picks up the offense.

Posted by: rickyroge | December 23, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hope everybody doesn't hurt themselves jumping off the Rexwagon after he reverts back to form these last 2 games...

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 23, 2010 3:34 PM


Ryp,

Theres a Rexwagon and you think people are on it, this has nothing to do with Grossman. The back up could be Joe sh-t head and he still ran the offense in that game better then Mcnabb has all year.

Rex is not the future he is what he is the future QB isn't on the roster yet.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"And in between every line, one thing was clear: McNabb doesn't think he can co-exist with Mike and Kyle Shanahan beyond the 2010 season."

EXIT STRATEGY??

I wouldn't hire Fletcher Smith to cut my grass. At 16.25 million due to McNabb next year he's either going to be traded or cut.

That's it that's the list. This dufus needs to keep his pie hole shut because two EXCELLENT football coaches have essentially sacked NcNabb twice in less than a yr.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Now that Fletcher Smith has returned fire, you can bet Shanny's move will be

-to keep McNabb on the roster;
-never let him play;
-make him run the scout team;
-McNabb will bristle at running the scout and a distracting media circus will ensue
-other teams will inquire about trading for him;
-Shanny will decline;
-he will wait until the trade deadline has passed and then deactivate him citing insubordination for failing to run the scout team effectively;
-the he'll be cut
-the Redskins would have spent another $16.5 million on top of this year's salary and the draft picks traded away and gotten zippo in return for one of the league's premiere talents at QB

But hey!

It's all part of the winning culture that Shanny is building around here!

Posted by: p1funk | December 23, 2010 6:00 PM |

Well, let's wiki this and see what happens shall we?

NEW WIKI PAGE ALERT!!!

Let's start a wiki page with everyone's predictions on what will happen in the Shanny/McNabb saga.

Posted by: TheScamp75 | December 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Unleash the sock puppets!

Posted by: Vic1 | December 23, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

From game ball in Week 4 to this in Week 15, another season ends in a laughingstock for Danny's World.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | December 23, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Unleash the sock puppets!

Posted by: Vic1 | December 23, 2010 6:30 PM |

Unleash the whiny 5 year old girls.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding analysis of the family dynamics of Team Shanahan from today's KidsPost writer Fred Bowen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/22/AR2010122205089.html

Among the highlights:

"...the Redskins players must be wondering if Dad Shanahan is blaming all the team's offensive problems on McNabb because he doesn't want to point the finger at his son's offensive system."

Posted by: Vic1 | December 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

NEW WIKI PAGE ALERT!!!

Put your endgame of the Shanny/McNabb debacle here.

http://redskinsinsiders.wetpaint.com/page/Shanny%2FMcNabb+Debacle+Predictions

Posted by: TheScamp75 | December 23, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

best as I can tell, everyone comes out looking pretty bad from this. Its lose-lose-lose.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Among the highlights:

"...the Redskins players must be wondering if Dad Shanahan is blaming all the team's offensive problems on McNabb because he doesn't want to point the finger at his son's offensive system."

Posted by: Vic1 | December 23, 2010 6:35 PM |

Never heard of him so could give two sh-ts about what he writes.

Vic you hate Snyder you have said it many times, yet your on here advocating Snyder do exactly what you hate him for.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

and, as long as we're thick into this ... why not rerun ..

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 23, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

ZEKE’S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES, as always, brought to you by Yahoo!’s finest

I had a different idea in mind for the week’s effort, but had to bench it for an inferior idea. Time to weigh in on McNabb. I was in the minority regarding his trade – I didn’t like it. Not because I expected McNabb to have a bad year, but because we had bigger problems. This edition is not an “I told you so”.

Back when I was a young pup, we had an annual QB controversy over Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen. At one point, SJ9’s career in DC was on the razor’s edge. He’d have just one chance to perform in a preseason game or he’d be done in DC. He did fine and after the game, Warner Wolf said something simple and pretty darn smart. He said that SJ9 is a QB who has proven himself over 15 years to be one of the best in football. It made no sense to determine his fate over what happened in a single a preseason game.

Warner was right about SJ9, and in a different context, I’m going to use the same logic with McNabb. He has had a bad year. Like SJ9, McNabb has proven that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Not by his play in DC this season, but by his body of work. This season is the exception in McNabb’s career.

McNabb isn’t young, but he isn’t at an age where QBs drop off a cliff. When we made the trade for him, I looked at what happened with comparable QBs at the same age. They had an average of 4 seasons left as a primary starter, and those seasons were evenly distributed between QB ratings that were bad (below 80), fair (80-90) and good (above 90).

I’m not buying that he is a bad QB. He is a good QB having a bad season.

I had not made a decision on whether I’d want Donovan back in 2011, though I was leaning against it. The downside is that McNabb is incredibly expensive and we have other needs. The upside is we have no QB who has ever demonstrated anything near the ability of McNabb. If we are going to have a good QB in 2011, easily our best chance would be for McNabb to rebound. Up until the divorce papers got served late last week, it wasn’t a far-flung scenario.

Grossman deserves credit for playing well, especially after the shaky start. Top QBs execute in the red zone and make clutch plays like 2 point conversions. He did both. A late drop by Moss cost the Skins a win. Kudos to Rex. But …

It is also just one game and not Grossman’s norm. His body of work says he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. We’ve all seen 1 game wonders (clint longley) and 1 season wonders (Derek Anderson).

Warner Wolf ‘s criticism was about misguided judgment. He railed against using the ‘what have you done for me lately” standard. Shanahan apparently felt that 13 games was enough to figure out McNabb wasn’t worth it, ignoring a lengthy a track record of success. McNabb had done too much right over too many years to be so casually discarded.

That is a wrap of ZEKE’S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES, as always, brought to you by Yahoo!’s finest

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 23, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

See vic, that is a reasonable article that you pulled. It's perfectly okay to ask questions and examine dynamics from a purely unbiased point of view. All these other Post hacks with an axe to grind slinging conjecture with zero factual content is ridiculous.

Posted by: TheScamp75 | December 23, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: TheScamp75 | December 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What the heck, the 'Skins gave McNabb a shot and it didn't work. Let's move on, try for Luck in the draft and let the coach remake this team, geez.

Posted by: namelsac1 | December 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Redskins’ Jerermy Jarmon, Adam Carriker fight in weight room

Posted by Michael David Smith on December 23, 2010, 6:46 PM EST

Step aside, Albert Haynesworth vs. Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb vs. Kyle Shanahan. The dysfunctional Washington Redskins have a new feud.

Redskins defensive ends Jeremy Jarmon and Adam Carriker got into a fight in the team’s weight room, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Kelli Johnson of Comcast Sportsnet reports that Jarmon and Carriker fought after practice, and it took about 10 people to break it up.

Jason Reid of the Washington Post quotes one veteran as saying, “Yeah them boys got to rumbling in the weight room.”

There’s no word yet on what caused the fight, or what exactly transpired. I’d put my money on the 6-foot-6, 311-pound Carriker beating the 6-foot-3, 286-pound Jarmon by decision.

UPDATE: Rich Campbell of the Free-Lance Star reports that Carriker and Jarmon exchanged only words, with no pushes or punches. That’s a little hard to square with the report that it took 10 people to break them up.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 23, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I am much more concerned with this year's historically bad defense than our offense. Haslett, the Defensive Coordinator has gotten off scot free this year and has had very little accountability for one of the historically worst defensive seasons in recent memory.

When are Redskins fans going to hold him accountable for this?

McNabb/Grossman/whomever is not the main concern when you give up 59 points to a division rival (I believe 45 pts at the half)

The D line and corners are terrible (DHall and Rogers are overrated-at least DHall can catch), the linebackers are average, (Orakpo notwithstanding) and the free safety position remains a mess.

Complain about the QB all you want, but until the defense improves, get used to 35 to 25 losses rather than 20 to 10. Either way, its still a loss.

Posted by: dabwilldo40 | December 23, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Flounder

I didn't mention Snyder here, you did.

Nor am I advocating that he do anything -- because he'd probably screw that up too.

Was just pointing to the curious coincidence that the questions of Shanahan family allegiances, nepotism and whether McNabb or Kyle should shoulder more of the blame for the failure of this offensive "system" had already been addressed by this very same newspaper, and on this very same day.

It is also noteworthy that it was written in the sort of preschool language that even a "whiny 5 year old girl" like you could understand.

Posted by: Vic1 | December 23, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Why not just cut McNabb and end all of this drama? Then we will see that the Skins' future failures will be tired directly to their poor coaching, lack of talent and poor leadership. What a f'ing joke!!

Posted by: Neisha_H | December 23, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

*tied

Posted by: Neisha_H | December 23, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Since we r getting rid of D-Mac why not try Beck out to start one of the last two games. I mean one game isn't a fair assesment of Grossman. I mean he fumbled and threw 2 picks, (flashbacks of his "Ruin the chance for a Chitown superbowl days") So I'd like to see Beck play. I've been to every game this yr (season tickets....thx SKins...well worth it) including pre-season and I was impressed with his release/accuracy. I think he has a higher ceiling then Grossman and could be payed far less money leaving us with more money to fix our terrible joke of an interior line. We also need a coverage S and RT,RG,....right side of the line at all really...or atleast get a good LG so we can Run/screen TWilliams way all day.

I mean we won a super bowl with Mark Rypien...the 2nd worst QB to win a ring (Dilfer being number one when the Ravens D scored more pts than he did most games. So if we fix the line..keep torrain healthy then our QB won't make or break the team...Just Sayin...and thanks HAS...runoff the best DT we've had in yrs and for putting our typically top 5 D in the basement....someone fire him already

Posted by: DGreen28BestEver | December 23, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I am much more concerned with this year's historically bad defense than our offense. Haslett, the Defensive Coordinator has gotten off scot free this year and has had very little accountability for one of the historically worst defensive seasons in recent memory. From: dabwilldo40

Excellent point, if anyone needs to go it's Haslett.

Posted by: namelsac1 | December 23, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Skins have got to be the featured team on Hard Knocks 2011. Training Camp is going to be a zoo with Haynesworth, McNabb, and Portis. Yeah, they'll all be around cause shanny is not going to eat their contracts no one is going to trade for them.

Posted by: coparker5 | December 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

McNabb and his defenders, hired or otherwise, might have the better half of the argument if not for the fact that Reid dumped him as soon as he could. Even to a contender in his own division.

That says something, I think, about McNabb's willingness to follow directions.

As in most cases, the truth is somewhere near the middle here. The Shanahan's poorly handled a "difficult" player.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 23, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is the team always a joke? Snyder really f'ed things up

Posted by: Salinas1 | December 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

No matter what people want to say about the Shanahans the fact remains that McNabb was not getting anything done this season. You would think that after film study mini camps ota's and all that that after 14wks he could have been a little more consistent but he never did so the Shanahans put in Grossman while I understand they didnt win but you can tell he understands the system better and knows where he should go with the ball so for that I fully support the benching this guy for someone else. Grossman will be the starter next yr while they groom the future and insert him in wk 9 or 10 next season thats it that all period.

Posted by: wattsicon | December 23, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The Shanahans are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, really nothing more than school bullies. If they want to make idiots of themselves regarding McNabb, that is their business. But as has been pointed out, they completely devalued McNabb in any trade (as they did with Haynesworth and others). In addition to being plain professional, the reason you don't urinate on your own people is you need to show other teams that they have value. Why in the world would any team trade for McNabb when they know that eventually the self-proclaimed geniuses in charge of the Skins will be forced to release him outright?

And what free agent would want to walk into this loony bin when the head coach and his son take pride in wrecking careers? Would you work for someone like that if you had other options?

This incident may end costing one or both Shanahans their job, and good riddance. There is such a thing as losing with pride and building a foundation for the future.

Posted by: haunches | December 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

McNabb has gotten one of the most free rides in the history of the game because he's a man of character. That's all well and good, but it doesn't change the fact that he's had a declining skill set for years. No one is saying that he's not a good guy. They're saying that he's not a good starting qb. His agent can spin it any way he wants, but if McNabb didn't suck on the field, he wouldn't be in this situation.

Posted by: ElSith | December 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

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