Will Mike Shanahan be back in Washington?

Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, donated

Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, donated $2,500 to Mitt Romney and $10,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Credit: AP )

All indications seem to point to Washington coach Mike Shanahan being fired by team owner Daniel Snyder once the season ends. But former Ravens coach Brian Billick has an intriguing theory that Shanahan will actually return next season, despite the controversy in recent weeks that suggests he’ll part ways.

During an interview with CBS radio on Friday, Billick said there is good reason for Shanahan to return in 2014. And after giving this some thought, he has a good point. Not that it’s a fait accompli that Shanahan does come back, but Billick at least makes a plausible case that it’s the right move.

What convinces Billick that Shanahan returns is the decision to keep Robert Griffin III out of the lineup and make sure he is healthy going into the off-season. Griffin underwent reconstructive knee surgery in January after getting hurt in a playoff loss to Seattle.

“I think this underlines the fact that Mike Shanahan will be coming back,” Billick said. “It’s hard for me to imagine that he would make this unilateral move, whether it’s genuine or not, unless he had already had conversations with Dan Snyder that they’re going to come back. This is the approach they need, both for [Griffin] and Shanahan, going into next year.”

It makes sense, at least if Shanahan is truly willing to return. Should the coach be willing to push the re-set button, take a deep breath and have Griffin participate in the all-important off-season conditioning program, then it’s certainly worth a shot. If nothing else, Shanahan can see if one more year with Griffin can be the difference.

Snyder might still pull the plug after four seasons with Shanahan and then roll the dice with another coach. But it’s a tricky proposition when you bring in another coach and give him a quarterback he didn’t draft. At least if Shanahan returns, there is continuity and another chance to make it work.

That doesn’t mean it will happen. But Billick’s premise makes enough sense that Shanahan and Snyder ought to be willing to consider it.

Tags: mike shanahan , daniel snyder , robert griffin III , washington redskins

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