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Shanahan would welcome McNabb back, as a backup

Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman

Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, left and quarterback Rex Grossman talk on the sideline against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)


The indignities keep on coming for Donovan McNabb in D.C. He says he wants to return to the team next year, and coach Mike Shanahan is willing to take McNabb up on that.

If McNabb is willing to serve as a backup.

I’m not sure he would, which I would understand,” Shanahan said Wednesday, per Jason Reid of the Washington Post. “But I think that’s why we’re talking about hypothetical situations. I don’t think that would happen. But if he was interested in that, obviously, that’d be a possibility.”

But there’s no way the Redskins would pay McNabb a $10 million option bonus in 2011 if he’s the backup.

Meanwhile, the Redskins will have little or no trade leverage in 2011. Given McNabb’s mediocre performances in 2010, no one will be clamoring to trade for his contract, which pays him more than $12 million next season.

That’s the most bizarre aspect of the events of the past week. By benching McNabb and now telling the world he won’t be the starter for the Redskins in the future, Mike Shanahan has squandered the ability to replenish either of the draft picks (a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder) that were given to the Eagles on Easter Sunday.

Of course, Shanahan has proven to be sufficiently hardheaded to place an unrealistic price tag on McNabb, to keep him throughout the offseason, training camp, and the preseason until Shanahan gets what he wants, and to cut McNabb on the eve of the regular-season opener.