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McNabb Decision Could Come Post-Draft


Head coach Mike Shanahan said on Friday that he hopes to make a decision on quarterback Donovan McNabb's future after the NFL Draft.

Shanahan said he met with Fletcher Smith, McNabb's agent, at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The two talked for 90 minutes about McNabb's future in Washington.

"I thought I had a great conversation with him," Shanahan told reporters during a media briefing at the combine. "Obviously we had a lot of quotes that were out there over the course of last season. I was able to address questions he had."

Shanahan added: "I think over the next few weeks we'll get the chance to talk again, and then we'll make a decision right after the draft of the direction we'll go."

By waiting until after the draft, it appears Shanahan and the Redskins are trying to determine if they can land another quarterback in free agency or the draft before committing to McNabb for another season.

Later, Shanahan clarified his remarks by saying: "If I had to guess, I would say we'll take care of it right after the draft, but it could be before."

On Nov. 15 last season, McNabb was given a contract extension by the Redskins. He was originally scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of last season.

Upon benching McNabb on Dec. 17, two days prior to a Week 15 at Dallas, Shanahan said he could not guarantee that McNabb would be back with the club for the 2011 season, though.

That suggests the team is open to listening to trade offers for the veteran signal-caller.

In his Dec. 17 comments, Shanahan also indicated the team would consider pursuing a quarterback in the NFL Draft.

Quarterback prospects Blaine Gabbert of Missouri, Cam Newton of Auburn and Jake Locker of Washington are possibilities for the Redskins.

Shanahan was asked to assess Newton and Locker during his media session in Indianapolis.

On Newton, Shanahan said: "I've watched a lot of film on Cam and he's an unbelievable athlete. He can make all the throws and that is what you want in a quarterback.

"I think a lot of people will spend some time and ask what kind of a guy [he is]. Is he a one-year guy, or is he going to take you to the next level? Obviously though he has all the skill you'd want in a quarterback. He's very talented."

On Locker, Shanahan compared his mobility to that of Jake Plummer, who he coached in Denver from 2003-06.

"He has great speed and an ability to do some things outside the pocket that most quarterbacks can't do," Shanahan said. "But I've only watched a couple of games and looking forward to watching some more."

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