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Need to Know: For answers in the Redskins’ saga, follow the money

Dec 14, 2013, 6:00 AM EST

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Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 14, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Follow the money

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder did not stand in the way of Mike Shanahan’s plan to shut quarterback Robert Griffin III down for the rest of the season, according to a report in the Washington Post. But it also sounds like he wasn’t necessarily as enthusiastic about it as Shanahan hinted he was during his Wednesday news conference.

Snyder “did not object” to the move to bench the 2012 rookie of the year because he believed it was the coach’s decision to make. But according to Shanahan if either Snyder or General Manager Bruce Allen was not “100 percent behind my reasoning” for benching Griffin he would maintain the “status quo” and keep Griffin as the starter.

It is not clear if Shanahan had that 100 percent backing from the owner. “He thought it was up to the coach, a coaching decision,” said one of the sources for the Post story. “Whether he agreed or didn’t agree is not the issue.”

The article also sheds some light on question of why Shanahan is still coaching the highly disappointing 3-10 Redskins. As is often the case, you can find the answer by following the money.

Shanahan has one more year left on his contract with a salary of $7 million. If he gets fired, he gets paid that money. If he quits he does not.

If Snyder fires Shanahan and the assistant coaches it would cost a total of about $12 million for him to pay off their contracts. He is probably on the hook for most of the assistants’ contracts anyway. But he certainly would like to be able to avoid paying that big chunk to Shanahan.

The standoff could end with a buyout in which Snyder would pay Shanahan part of what he is due. That seems to be the most likely scenario.

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Timeline

Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 1; Cowboys @ Redskins 8; 2014 NFL Draft 146

Today’s schedule: No availability, team traveling to Atlanta

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