Shanahan to decide McNabb’s fate after draft

INDIANAPOLIS — Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Friday he’ll make a decision on QB Donovan McNabb‘s future with the team after April’s NFL Draft.

Shanahan said he recently spoke with McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, to clear the air after a tumultuous campaign in which the QB was benched in favor of Rex Grossman for the final three games of the season.

“I thought it was a good initial conversation,” Shanahan said at the NFL Scouting Combine, adding that he hasn’t spoken directly with McNabb since the end of the season.

“Obviously, I’m not going to share my feelings through the press,” Shanahan added. “I had to wait until the end of the season. I shared to my thoughts with Fletcher, and I do that because I want to handle it the right away. There’s a lot of information out there, a lot of misinformation.”

Shanahan said his goal was to “protect the integrity of our program.”

Some have linked the Redskins, who picked 10th in the draft, to Auburn QB Cam Newton. Shanahan praised the Heisman Trophy winner.

“I’ve watched a lot of film on Cam, and he’s an unbelievable athlete,” the coach said. “He’s got a good release and does everything that you look for in a quarterback.”

Shanahan also addressed other hot Redskins topics:

  • On DT Albert Haynesworth‘s future with the team: “Obviously, he’s going through appealing a four-game suspension. He’s had a couple alleged instances that he’s got to take care of. Obviously, that goes through the commissioner. Hopefully, that comes out positive. There’s a lot of ramifications there, so he’s got to take care of that first.”
  • Following a visit with free-agent NT Shaun Rogers, Shanahan assessed the team’s status at that position: “You’re always looking for that great nose tackle, and they don’t come around every day. … We do have a couple guys there, but we don’t have a dominating guy at this time.”
  • Shanahan didn’t rule out bringing back WR Santana Moss, but he called RB Clinton Portis‘ situation “different” because of his price tag. “Now here’s a guy with a high salary-cap (number) and I’ve always dealt with it a little bit differently,” Shanahan said. “If we’re not going to sign Clinton to that high salary, I’ll let him test the market out. Not to say that we don’t want him, but if we want him at a lower price, I’d always give him that option to obviously go out and find the best deal.”

Marc Sessler

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