Redskins reach 5-year deal with Mike Shanahan is reporting that the Redskins have reached a 5-year contract agreement with Mike Shanahan to become their next head coach.

Under the terms of the new deal, Shanahan will team with Redskins executive vice president and general manager Bruce Allen, but Shanahan will have the ultimate authority on football decisions. Shanahan will be introduced as the Redskins head coach at a 2 p.m. ET news conference Wednesday.

As the contract was being signed at the Redskins’ training complex, Shanahan and owner Dan Snyder posed together for a picture. Then, with the deal signed, Shanahan, his agent Sandy Montag, Allen and Snyder headed out for a celebration dinner in Washington, D.C.

The contract is worth approximately $7 million a year, the Denver Post reported on its Web site. Now that Shanahan has been hired elsewhere, the Denver Broncos, who fired Shanahan one year ago, will recoup $7 million in offset money over the next two seasons under the terms of the agreement they had with the coach.

Finally, Daniel Snyder made a good football decision for his franchise. Shanahan is absolutely the right fit for an organization that is in desperate need for a leader that can give them direction and build a solid foundation.

But the key now is that Snyder needs to get the hell out of the way. He’s meddling has cost his team before, so if he continues to play the role of owner-knows-best, then this will be a wasted hire.

You found the right guy Dan, now sit in the back and let Shanahan drive the ship.

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Redskins fire Jim Zorn

Black Monday was kicked off in the NFL with the firing of Jim Zorn, which surprised absolutely no one.

From the Washington Post:

“The status quo is not acceptable,” General Manager Bruce Allen said in a statement. “I felt it was necessary to not waste a moment of time to begin building this team into a winner.”

The Redskins may swiftly announce his replacement, possibly within hours. In December, Washington forced out longtime front office executive Vinny Cerrato and announced the hiring of new general manager Bruce Allen within two hours, putting in motion the overhaul of the franchise’s infrastructure after a 10-year period that featured just two playoff appearances.

Former Denver and Oakland coach Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and the Broncos, has been the presumed hire for weeks. Several NFL sources have said over the past month that they believe Shanahan has long been the choice of Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, who now must hire his seventh head coach since he took control of the team in 1999.

Zorn wasn’t given much of an opportunity to succeed from the very beginning. He was hired by Daniel Snyder to become the Redskins’ offensive coordinator and then thrust into the head coaching position after Snyder couldn’t find a candidate he liked. Zorn was overmatched from the beginning and despite getting the Redskins off to a good start in 2008 his inexperience eventually did him in.

After losing his offensive playcalling duties earlier this season in Washington, I doubt he’ll land a gig as a coordinator right away but you never know. Even though he was fired, I imagine part of him has to be thrilled that he’s leaving that mess behind.

We’ll see if the Redskins move quickly on Shanahan. I suspect they will.

Redskins GM Cerrato resigns, Snyder hires Allen

Redskins fans got an early Christmas present this year as vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato has decided to resign. reports that owner Daniel Snyder has hired former Raiders and Bucs GM Bruce Allen to take Cerrato’s place.

In a statement released by the team Thursday morning, Cerrato said he has had numerous conversations with team owner Daniel Snyder over the last few weeks about the team’s future.

“We agreed that the franchise needs someone different in this position,” Cerrato said in a statement released by the team. “I’m thankful to Dan Snyder and other members of his ownership team for the opportunities I’ve been given over the years.”

For the past two seasons, Cerrato has held the post of executive vice president of football operations. This year’s Redskins are 4-9 and have struggled in part because of a lack of depth along the offensive line.

“Of course, I am disappointed with this year’s results, but I strongly believe that with outstanding draft picks and encouraging performance by our younger players, we have laid a strong foundation for the franchise,” Cerrato said in the statement.

Allen should provide an instant upgrade over Cerrato, who had no clue what he was doing during drafts and who wildly spent money on the wrong free agents. He also managed to alienate a proud Redskins fan base, which was arguably his biggest crime.

It’ll be interesting to see Allen in action with an owner that is willing to spend in attempts to win. In Tampa, Allen was handcuffed by cheap owners and he still managed to build a talented roster. He might be a perfect fit in Washington.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Bucs release Brooks, Dunn, Galloway, Hilliard and June

In one sweeping move, new Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik released veterans Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard and Cato June on Wednesday according to the Tampa Tribune.

Tampa fans will be outraged at seeing the names Brooks, Galloway and Dunn (even though he played in Atlanta four of the past five seasons), but June is the only surprising cut. The rest are cap casualties whose salaries have exceeded their on-field production.

Still, this must be a sobering day for Bucs fans, which no doubt will miss what Brooks, Galloway, Hilliard and Dunn brought to the field every Sunday. All four are consummate professionals who are team-first players and in the case of Brooks, he essentially carried Tampa to a Super Bowl victory in 2002.

With June’s release, it’s clear that new defensive coordinator Jim Bates wants bigger athletes on that side of the ball. June is a sideline-to-sideline player and is solid in coverage. But obviously Bates wants his linebackers to be tough, physical and always thinking run-first. Goodbye Tampa 2, hello more conventional defense.

With the departures of Brooks, Galloway, Hilliard, Dunn, Jon Gruden, Bruce Allen and Monte Kiffin, it’s clearly an end of an era in Tampa.

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