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Who Will Get Shut Down First: Mike Shanahan or RG3?

Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III in happier days.

Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III in happier days.

On Monday Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that he’s unsure if quarterback Robert Griffin III will start this week against the Falcons. Citing concerns about RG3’s health, Shanahan is considering shutting down his healthy starter for the rest of the season and starting backup Kirk Cousins in his place:

“I’m talking about his health. I want to make sure he’s healthy. I think that’s the most important thing going into the offseason, that he has his first full offseason being healthy. If he did play and something happened to him, I think it would set our franchise back.”

Considering the ongoing feud that has been playing out between these two for nearly a year, it’s hard to imagine Shanahan’s motivation is anywhere near as noble as he’d like us to believe. Last week ESPN reported the coach had actually cleaned out his office ahead of Washington’s Wild Card playoff game against Seattle last year.

A source told the network that “Shanahan had grown tired of the way (owner Daniel) Snyder empowered Griffin but did blame Snyder for creating an atmosphere that Shanahan did not believe was conducive to winning.” He reportedly referred to the ‘Skins owner’s regard to RG3 as a “complete farce.”

No more smiles.

No more smiles.

Had Griffin not been seriously injured against the Seahawks, Shanahan may have actually made good on his promise to quit. But apparently he was concerned about looking bad for running out on the team right after the franchise quarterback went down in a playoff loss.

At this point he probably wishes he had quit, because the Washington Post reported on Monday that the relationship between owner and coach “might be damaged beyond repair.” The recent 45-10 home loss to the Chiefs was so bad that many fans threw snowballs at the Redskins bench.

On the bright side, the smallest crowd in FedEx Field history was on hand to witness that dumpster fire.

Now in terms of Shanahan’s future with the Redskins, it’s more a matter of when he’ll get fired, rather than if he’ll get fired. Whether he’s trying to hasten his exit by threatening to bench Griffin is unknown, but if Snyder fires him he’s still on the hook for the $7 million remaining on Shanahan’s contract.

So if things are as bad as they seem to be between Shanahan and Snyder, speeding up the inevitable might be the most humane option for all parties involved.

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