Tag:Mike Shanahan
Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:04 am

Haynesworth, Ochocinco restructure their deals

A. Haynesworth and C. Ochocinco restructured their contracts with New England (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Aside from the big news that Patriots G Logan Mankins signed a six-year deal with his team, there was other important contract reports emanating out of New England on Wednesday.

Namely, that potentially high-impact (but certainly high-ego) players restructured their contracts in order to help the team save some cap money.

That’s the word from ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss, who writes that DL Albert Haynesworth and WR Chad Ochocinco signed news contract that will pay them less this year and more in 2012 and 2013.

For Haynesworth, he’ll make $1.5 million this season with no guaranteed money, and as Reiss explains, that means the Patriots could cut Haynesworth tomorrow and owe him virtually nothing (this almost assuredly leaves Redskins coach Mike Shanahan gnashing his teeth in frustration). New England will pay him a base salary of $6.7 million (with another $500,000 in bonuses) for 2012.

In Ochocinco’s case, the team will pay him $2.5 million this season (that’s a base salary, plus a roster bonus), and if he sticks around, the Patriots would pay him a combined $9 million for 2012-13. But the $2.5 million is a cheap price to pay for a man who potentially still has elite skill in his legs and hands but also might be getting old.

And as Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole points out, considering Haynesworth was originally supposed to make a base salary of $7 million and that he still can make significant money with incentives, the Patriots have the best of both worlds.

In order for him to get paid, Haynesworth has to play and play well. As we all know, that simply wasn’t the case in Washington, where he was going to get paid tons of money no matter how much -- or how well -- he played. Not surprisingly, you can say this: advantage Bill Belichick.

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Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 11:08 pm

McNabb brings out the best in Romanowski

B. Romanowski ripped D. McNabb (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Apparently, the quantity of people (if not the quality) who decide to spew vile all over Vikings QB Donovan McNabb continues to grow.

You remember Bill Romanowski, right? He was a two-time Pro Bowler, but he was also a jerk, kicking opponents in the head, spitting in other people’s faces and ending a teammate’s career by blasting his eye socket. So, good dude, right?

And it makes him the perfect person to comment on somebody with whom he never played, right? Right? Hello?

Either way, Romanowski was on Jim Rome’s radio show today and, well, he acted just like you’d expect -- he did his best Bernard Hopkins impersonation and ripped the hell out of McNabb for, as far as I can tell, no reason at all.

“The reason why Donovan McNabb is not in Washington right now is because he was lazy,” Romanowski said, via PFT.com. “He didn’t spend the time. Mike Shanahan likes guys who will work really hard. I narrow it down to two things. He’s either lazy, or he’s not very bright to pick up the offense. One or the other. I think he’s bright enough, I just think he was lazy.”

And, just for the hell of it, Rome asked how Romanowski would act around Broncos QB Tim Tebow?

“I would want to lay him out and put him into next year,” Romanowski said. “I’d have him so messed up mentally he’d be like, ‘Oh, God, this Romanowski is crazy.’”

Um, crazy wasn’t the word I was thinking about.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:48 pm

Rex Grossman predicts Redskins will win NFC East

Posted by Will Brinson

If there's one thing we know about Rex Grossman, it's that he doesn't lack confidence. (John Beck, by the way, isn't short on competitive enthusiasm either.) But the prediction he dropped in a recent interview, following his ascension to the unofficial No. 1 quarterback in Washington, well, it's just delusional.

Grossman, in speaking with Kelli Johnson of CSN Washington, predicted that the Redskins would win the NFC East.

"We're fine being the sleepers right now," Grossman said. "We're just waiting in the wings waiting to take over the NFC East. No one's talking about us. IT's right where we want to be. You look at us from top-to-bottom out here, there's a bunch of great players.

"We don't need people saying we're the best right now. When it's all said and done I really feel like we're going to win the NFC East."

Um, yeah. Look, you gotta admire Grossman's confidence, however misplaced it seems.

But the odds of the Redskins winning the NFC East? Well, they're not good. And actually, if you want to put a number on them, they're 25/1, according to Sportsbook.com.

That wouldn't be bad if it were their Super Bowl odds, but when Vegas drops a double-digit number on a team to win its division, it's a pretty clear-cut indicator that they won't be doing that. (The 2-14 Panthers, in fact, are only 20/1 to win the NFC South.)

Anyway, back to the Redskins. They are simply not going to win the division, regardless of the fact that Grossman's done it before.

"This offense, from top to bottom, is better than that offense I had in Chicago," Grossman said. "And the defense is going to make a ton of strides this year. I know they are. I know we're going to be a good team."

Maybe so. (Not likely, but maybe.) Predicting that the Redskins defense could suddenly turn into 2006 Bears and help a quarterback who completed 54 percent of his passes, threw 20 interceptions -- against just 23 touchdowns -- and averaged under 200 passing yards is probably closer to "foolish" than it is "bold."

But, hey, if Grossman wants to get 20/1 on any sort of bet, I'm more than happy to oblige.

HT: DC Sports Bog

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 3:24 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:00 pm

Stephen Bowen draws inspiration from death of son

S. Bowen is working through the death of his infant son (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For anybody who has children -- especially those who have children who were born prematurely and had to spend significant time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit -- this Associated Press story about Redskins DE Stephen Bowen is heartbreaking and tragic and, at the same time, inspiring.

Bowen, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million free agent contract with Washington this offseason after spending the past five seasons with the Cowboys, is still dealing with the feelings and heartbreak caused by the death of his infant son, Skyler. Now as Bowen attempts to regenerate his football career in a completely new city, he's far away from the rest of his family.

Bowen’s wife, Tiffany, gave birth to twins -- Skyler and Stephen III -- in June, but they arrived about four months early at the 24-week mark of their gestation (this is basically the border of whether a newborn has the chance to be viable). While Stephen III still makes progress in the hospital, Skyler died 10 days after he was born.

Bowen is still trying to come to grips with his son’s death.

“Things are a lot better," Bowen told the AP. "It's still hard. I still think about the son we lost every day. He was just an inspiration for us. While he was here, he was fighting every day to try to be here for us. So the least I can do is just work my butt off and try to be the best football player I can be."

For now, Bowen must wait while Stephen III is released from the hospital -- the family is hoping for next month -- and then, his wife, 21-month-old daughter Trinity and Stephen III will travel to Washington to join Bowen.

Until then, Bowen will continue to wade through training camp, spending his days and nights consumed by football so he doesn’t have to be tortured by the thoughts of what he’s lost.

"I don't think you can know how he feels unless you've been in his shoes," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Words can't express what he and his family are feeling."

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:31 pm

John Beck is not yet Redskins starter

J. Beck is not yet officially Washington's starter (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Donovan McNabb off the Redskins radar screen and with Rex Grossman a free agent, it was assumed by just about everybody -- especially by the man himself -- that John Beck was in the position to take over Washington’s starting QB spot.

And by just about everybody, I’m not including Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who told reporters, via the DC Sports Bog, that Beck actually ISN’T the starter right now.

As Dan Steinberg points out, many national reporters have assumed that because Beck said he thought of himself as the starter that he actually was. But until NFL.com asked Shanahan, he hadn’t made a comment on the scenario.

“First of all, I’ve never mentioned a starter,” Shanahan said. “I’ve never even insinuated a starter. I said I had a lot of belief in John Beck, I had a lot of belief in Rex Grossman. We’re going to play the best player at the end of camp, but I do believe in both those guys. I’ve watched them practice. You make decisions based on practice. I’ve watched both these guys for a year, I like what they bring to the table. Now I get a chance to watch them compete on a day-to-day basis.”

Grossman, for the record, has 31 career starts (including three last year) against Beck’s four -- which is less than half as many as the one guy who’s getting no love in this case. That would be nine starts for Kellen Clemens.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:40 pm

Grossman signs, battles Beck for Skins' QB job

Posted by Ryan Wilson

One of the least surprising moves of free agency was the Redskins' decision to jettison quarterback Donovan McNabb after just one season in Washington. Despite a new head coach and general manager, the Skins still appeared to be the same slapstick (unintentional) comedy act when it came to roster building.

Mike Shanahan unceremoniously benched McNabb for Rex Grossman midway through the 2010 season (good news, however: Shanahan proclaimed last month that "I love Donovan McNabb," so there's that), and Washington's other backup, John Beck, appeared to win the job by default.

Well, Grossman, a free-agent until Tuesday, has signed a one-year deal to return to the Redskins. And now the biggest storyline in Washington will be which player, with seven starts between them in the last six seasons and a combined career passer rating that averages in the mid-60s, wins the starting quarterback gig.

“This is all I can ask for: an offense I love, a bunch of players I think are really good,” Grossman said on his first day back at Redskins Park. “I’m excited about this team, this offense and my opportunity.”

Washington's coaches have stressed that the QB job is wide open, even if it seemed that Beck was anointed the starter during the offseason.

“They all got a good opportunity,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said, according to the Washington Post. “Whenever you don’t have a designated starter, you got a lot of competition.”

Maybe that's a shot at McNabb (Shanahan was rumored not to be much of a fan) or maybe it's the realization that the team's going into the season with either Beck or Grossman as their starting QB. It can't be a comforting thought for supporters who have endured more than should be expected of any fan base not located in Detroit during those heady Matt Millen days. Upside: Grossman and Beck both sound like they want the job. It's not much but, well, it's something.

“I want to be able to do the second half of the Cowboys game throughout 16 weeks and on through the playoffs as well,” Grossman said of a half in which he was 18-of-30 passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. “That’s my challenge: to be consistently great.”

And while Beck has just four starts in his four-year NFL career, the last coming during his rookies season in 2007, he exudes confidence.

“I know where I stand, and I know how I’m viewed,” he says, according to Yahoo.com. “But I feel differently about myself. I know the questions are justified. I haven’t thrown a lot of passes. I have to prove to everyone what I can do. … Coach Shanahan is giving me my chance. That’s all I’ve been asking for in this league – a real chance.”

However the rest of training camp and the preseason play out, there's a very good chance that the Redskins' will begin the season with a 30-year-old under center. All that's left to sort out is if it will be a former first-round pick who has underachieved for most of his career, or a former second-rounder who has yet to win an NFL game.

If nothing else, it should give some indication of what the Redskins coaches thought of McNabb.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:23 pm

McNabb could be headed to Minnesota

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So, who wants to take a chance on Redskins QB Donovan McNabb, the guy who was beaten up and benched last year in Washington?

How ‘bout the team who just got finished employing Brett Favre? Yep, it’s the Vikings.

That’s according to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, who reports that the Vikings and Redskins have had "intense" conversations about possibly trading McNabb.

McNabb's destination
With rookie Christian Ponder and the inexperienced Joe Webb as the only legit starting QBs on the roster right now – you might have heard that the Seahawks will sign away Tarvaris Jackson from Minnesota – it stands to reason that the Vikings are in need of an experienced signal-caller to help with Ponder’s transition to the NFL.

But considering McNabb is due to make $12.5 million this season, the terms of McNabb’s contract would have to be restructured in order for the Vikings to accept the deal. Especially since, at one point last season, Washington coach Mike Shanahan thought Rex Grossman should be in the game to lead a last-minute drive instead of McNabb.

So, why do it? Well, as ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert writes, the deal only makes sense if McNabb comes into Minnesota with the understanding that he’d be Ponder’s backup. Otherwise, Seifert writes, “if Ponder isn't ready in Week 1, you wonder if someone like Joe Webb or Tyler Thigpen couldn't hold down the fort until he is. Isn't that a smarter long-term move than trading for a declining player who can't start for a team that plans to have Rex Grossman and John Beck compete for the job this summer? The Vikings drafted Ponder to end their cycle of Band-Aid solutions at quarterback, not to extend it.”

Considering the Redskins gave up two draft picks to get McNabb from the Eagles before the 2010 season, McNabb’s decline in value is pretty startling.

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Posted on: July 17, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: July 17, 2011 10:35 am

'Nice market' in FA for Tarvaris Jackson?

Posted by Will Brinson

In Minnesota, Christian Ponder has become the unquestioned future at quarterback, and even if the Vikings end up pursuing and/or signing a veteran free agent, it will be in a "mentor" role.

What about the past, though?

We know Tarvaris Jackson isn't coming back to Minnesota, and we know that there's a need for quarterbacks around the NFL. But could there be a market for a guy like Jackson, who's got potential but has struggled so often to succeed at the NFL level?

Well, the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora certainly thinks so and notes that he foresees "a nice market" for Jackson in free agency.

Specifically, LaCanfora cites the Redskins, the Seahawks and the Dolphins as "strong possibilities" to sign the former first-rounder.

Those teams make a lot of sense, too, because they've got uncertain quarterback situations with incumbent veterans that need to be pushed.

The Redskins will, in all likelihood, end up with Rex Grossman and John Beck competing for the starting job (we're assuming here, of course, that despite love from Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb gets the boot) and Tarvaris would make a good third wheel to push the other guys and give Mike Shanahan a second option. Plus, he can roll out and throw on the run, so he must be just like Jake Plummer!

In Seattle, Matt Hasselebeck is supposed to come back, but no one's really all that sure -- one week he's guaranteed to be back, the next week it's no more than a 50-percent chance. Since anyone can beat out Charlie Whitehurst for a job, Jackson's a good candidate there as well.

And in Miami, there's been a lot of chatter about Vince Young as a possible addition to the Dolphins roster. Jackson might not have the same résumé as Young but he also doesn't bring to the table the same dramatic downside that VY does.

Factor in that Jackson will be cheaper and more durable over the course of a contract than most "veteran" quarterback options out there, and it's not unreasonable to see why teams might be interested.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com