Redskins won’t decide McNabb’s future until after the draft

Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb watches game action from the sideline during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on November 15, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Donovan McNabb must feel real secure about his status in Washington after hearing Mike Shanahan’s latest comments to the media.

While speaking at the NFL combine on Friday, the Redskins head coach said that the team wouldn’t make a decision on McNabb’s future until after the draft. Shanahan also said that he’s talked to McNabb’s agent but has yet to speak to McNabb personally since the end of the season.

Granted, Shanahan was vague in his comments so there’s still an outside shot that McNabb could return to D.C. next year. But John Fox gave more backing to Kyle Orton this week than Shanahan did for McNabb and Fox hasn’t even seen Orton practice yet. Chances are the Redskins aren’t going to pay McNabb the $10 million offseason roster bonus or the $1.75 million base salary he’s due next season.

If you read between the lines, it appears that McNabb is a goner if the Skins emerge from the draft with a starting quarterback (or at least someone that can challenge Rex Grossman for the starting job next season). With so many holes to fill, it’ll be interesting to see if Shanahan decides to address the quarterback position in the first round knowing that he doesn’t have complete faith in McNabb as his starter, or take his chances in the middle rounds on someone like TCU’s Andy Dalton, FSU’s Christian Ponder or Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi. (Or ignore the position completely and stick with McNabb.)

But no matter how the draft shakes out, McNabb will either start for the Redskins or start for another team in 2011. It would be foolish for the Redskins to pay him over $12 million next year and watch him hold the clipboard while Grossman plays. Things will be real interesting around Redskins Park at the end of April and early May.

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