Mike Shanahan is reportedly trying to get himself fired by benching Robert Griffin III, but Redskins owner Dan Snyder isn’t playing along.
Shanahan announced this week that Griffin would be headed to the bench in favor of Cousins, and that veteran Rex Grossman would be backing up Cousins. The move came after reports that Shanahan considered walking away from the team at the end of the 2012 season.
Sources close to the team said that benching Griffin was intended by Mike Shanahan to provoke his firing from the team, which would mean that owner Dan Snyder would have to pay the full remaining balance for Shanahan and his staff. This has caused a conflict with Snyder, who is refusing to pay the $13 million to buy out the staff, reported Mark Maske of The Washington Post.
The decision to bench Griffin has earned Mike Shanahan widespread criticism. Former Raiders coach and commentator John Madden said he disagreed with the decision to shut down last year’s No. 2 pick in the draft.
“I mean, you know it’s baloney,” Madden said on Sirius XM Radio, via ESPN.com. “I like Mike Shanahan, and I’m not talking behind his back, but when you say something like that, you know that’s not right –you’re not going to sacrifice regular-season games. There’s only 16 of them a year. You’re not going to sacrifice regular-season games for an offseason program.”
Mike Shanahan defended his decision.
“First of all, I respect the heck out of John. I’ve known John for a long time and he does an unbelievable job,” Shanahan said. “But unless you’re really in the situation – you’re in our situation – it’s really hard to jump into somebody’s shoes. And everybody has opinions on everything, especially when you get paid to give your opinions. But when you’re here and you’re the coach, you’re going to do the best thing that you believe – with all the facts involved – that is the best thing for the organization. And sometimes you don’t know all the things that we’re evaluating.”
With neither side budging, all indications seem the stalemate between Mike Shanahan and Daniel Snyder will continue on.