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McNabb's Future In Washington In Doubt


Donovan McNabb was given a contract extension on Nov. 15, but his future in Washington is far from certain following this week's benching.

Head coach Mike Shanahan told McNabb this week that he could not guarantee that McNabb would be back with the Redskins in 2011.

Shanahan suggested that the Redskins could pursue a quarterback in next year's NFL Draft.

"I said [to McNabb], 'What I can guarantee you is I'll be honest with you and I'll evaluate the situation,'" Shanahan said. "I said, 'I'm not sure what we're going to do in the college draft. If we're able to get the top quarterback in the draft, if there were a young Donovan McNabb or maybe a Sam Bradford, somebody like that' – there are a lot of possibilities – then I'll evaluate that and be honest as I possibly can as time goes on."

It was just eight months ago that the Redskins acquired McNabb in a high-profile trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Redskins sent the Eagles a second-round draft pick and a 2011 third- or fourth-round draft pick.

It was thought the Redskins had finally solidified the position with a true franchise quarterback who, despite being 33 years old, still appeared to be playing at a high level.

Instead, McNabb, a 12-year NFL veteran in his first year in Washington, struggled at times in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's system.

The unit is ranked 17th in the NFL and McNabb has thrown just 14 touchdown passes and a career-high 15 interceptions.

Shanahan was asked if time had proven that the trade was a mistake.

"I think when you say that you erred – there are a lot of mistakes that you make and you really don't know if you made a mistake," Shanahan said. "But if you do make one, you make it and you go on. What I want to do is evaluate where was are [at the quarterback position] at the end of the season and then I will tell you if we erred or not."

And McNabb still could return to the Redskins in 2011, he added.

Shanahan was asked if it was disappointing that the quarterback position was not stabilized at this point of his tenure in Washington.

"Hopefully I'm going to be able to evaluate that a little bit further over the next few weeks," Shanahan replied. "I can tell you a little more in detail exactly where we're at. I understand the questions as well. The only way I can answer them is to be strictly honest with you.

"A lot of times people make a decision and say, 'Hey, I'm going to do this no matter what for the next three, four, five years, whatever.' I'm not saying that. I said I'm going to evaluate everybody. I'm going to evaluate the draft, evaluate these two players and come up with the best game plan.

"It could very well be Donovan, but I'm just not going to make that commitment until I see everybody."

Of course, McNabb's feelings about being benched have to figure into the equation as well.

Coming off the practice fields on Friday, McNabb declined to talk to the media.

Shanahan was asked if he thinks McNabb would want to come back to Washington.

"Well, he has got to make that decision," Shanahan replied. "I just have to do things based on what I think is in the best interest of this organization. All I can do is be honest. This is a very tough profession. It's very tough on coaches and it's very tough on players. But I've got to do what I think is the right thing and the right thing is exactly what I did."

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