After a one-year hiatus, Mike Shanahan is back in the NFL coaching ranks, as he signed a five-year contract to be the head coach and executive vice president of football operations for the Washington Redskins, as first reported by ESPN and the Denver Post.
A news conference at 2 p.m. on Wednesday will formally announce the deal, which the Post reported is worth approximately $7 million per year. The Broncos, who fired Shanahan with three years remaining on his deal, will kick in $3.5 million in both 2010 and 2011 to the Redskins.
Shanahan will turn 58 in the midst of the preseason on Aug. 24. In his 16 seasons as a head coach (two with the Raiders and 14 with the Broncos), he is 146-98, including an 8-5 record in the postseason with two Super Bowl rings. Upon his return, Shanahan will be two behind Bill Belichick in wins among active coaches.
However, no coach has ever won a Super Bowl with multiple teams — only Bill Parcells (Giants, Patriots), Mike Holmgren (Green Bay, Seattle), Dick Vermeil (St. Louis, Philly) and Dan Reeves (Broncos, Falcons) have even taken two teams to a Super Bowl (*note: great trivia question for Super Bowl week).
Current GM Bruce Allen will help Shanahan make team decisions, but the ultimate choice on football moves will be the coach's. Shanahan also comes with a package, as his son, Kyle, who has served as the Texans' offensive coordinator the past two seasons, will serve the same role under his dad in Washington.
All in all, quite a haul for Shanahan.
But we've seen this love affair before between team owner Daniel Snyder and his next coach. After firing his last hotshot, Jim Zorn, who left with his hat in his hand on Monday after amassing a 12-20 record in two seasons with the club, Snyder went out and grabbed his seventh head coach since buying the team in 1999. In that stretch, Washington is 82-99 with just three seasons culminating in playoff appearances (none advancing past the divisional round).
Said Snyder in a statement released by the team: "No one in the organization is satisfied with our record over the last two years, and I am sure that Jim [Zorn] would concur with that statement. It has been painful for him, too. I certainly accept responsibility for mistakes that I have made."
Apparently Allen, who actually interviewed Shanahan Monday morning (according to ESPN), is okay with the new head man having the ultimate say.
"The status quo has to end," Allen said. "We have to change the way we've been doing some business. ... Last place [in the NFC East] two years in a row is not Redskins football."
Shanahan won back-to-back Super Bowls after the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but won just one playoff game (2005 against the Patriots) in five tries after John Elway retired. He won 10 games or more in seven of his 14 seasons in Denver with just two losing seasons ('99 and '07). But he failed to make the playoffs in each of his final three years with the Broncos and his team's collapse two seasons ago prompted his firing.