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Redskins looking into whether they could fire Mike Shanahan for cause and not pay him remaining $7 million

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

The Washington Redskins' relationship with Mike Shanahan seemed to officially sour on Sunday, and well before the opening kickoff of a 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

ESPN.com had a curiously timed story on Sunday morning that Shanahan was ready to quit last season because of how owner Daniel Snyder gave preferential treatment to quarterback Robert Griffin III, but stuck around for another season after Griffin got hurt. Whether that story is accurate doesn't really matter. The important takeaway is someone leaked it to ESPN.

The Redskins believe that someone is Shanahan, and they aren't too pleased about it.

The Washington Post reported that the Redskins are looking into whether they can fire Shanahan with cause and therefore not pay him the $7 million he has remaining on his contract for next season. The Post said the Redskins were "sorting through their options" on Monday morning.

If the Redskins try to fire Shanahan with cause, claiming he was the source of the ESPN story, Shanahan would undoubtedly file a grievance (Shanahan has experience with this; he has contended for years that the late Al Davis never paid him money he was owed after he fired him from the Raiders).

It certainly doesn't look good for Shanahan that the Redskins believe he leaked a story to ESPN that appeared the same morning that the team he was supposedly coaching looked entirely unprepared.

It's obvious that Shanahan will get fired, it's just a matter of when.

Shanahan appeared resigned to the fact that the relationship between him and the Redskins was done when he gave a tepid answer to a question about Snyder after Sunday's loss.

“It’s not the right time or place to talk about my relationship with Dan Snyder,” Shanahan said, according to the Post. “Or it’s not the right time and place to talk about something that happened a year ago. I’ll get a chance to talk to Dan at the end of the season. I’ll give some viewpoints from me, and I’m sure he’ll give me his thoughts on what direction we’ll go. And so we’ll communicate that at the proper time.”

The Post article contended that the Redskins might wait Shanahan out and see if he resigns at the end of the season, as this has become a "stare-down" about the remaining money.

It seems like it's getting messy in Washington, but really, it has been messy for a while. Now the situation has graduated to untenable.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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