In the end, Shanahan’s final destination might come down to money. Specifically, the question will be the extent to which any team is willing to exceed the $7 million that Shanahan is due to receive from the Broncos regardless of whether he works next season.
So maybe, just maybe, the team’s flirtation with USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has less to do with making an impact in 2009, and more to do with helping set the table for Shanahan in 2010.
I have absolutely no doubt that Dan Snyder wants to make this move, but it's going to come down to how the team performs this year. If the Redskins finish 8-8 again and miss the playoffs, then Zorn will surely get fired, meaning Snyder can throw a ton of cash Shanahan's way to try to bring him to Washington. But if the Redskins make the playoffs and perform well, Snyder can't get rid of Zorn and Jason Campbell, which would ruin Snyder's strategy of trying to make a big offseason splash every year. And I honestly don't know if Snyder would rather win football games or be offseason champions.
If Snyder is really looking ahead to 2010, it makes more sense (not that anything Snyder does makes sense) to have Sanchez since he would be a young quarterback for Shanahan to build his offense around; Campbell probably wouldn't be a good fit.
Finding out that Snyder wants to hire Shanahan wouldn't shock many Redskins fans if it eventually turns out to be true, but I'd still be surprised if the Redskins draft Sanchez because he makes no sense for the 2009 team. The Redskins have plenty of holes at offensive line, defensive line, and linebacker, and wasting a pick on a quarterback would be ridiculous.
So, with that in mind, expect the Redskins to go after Sanchez.