Daniel Snyder is going to leave the decision as to who starts at quarterback on Sunday against the Falcons up to Mike Shanahan—assuming that Shanahan is still the coach at that time.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Snyder will not intervene if Shanahan decides to bench Robert Griffin III and start backup Kirk Cousins. Shanahan said on Monday that he is considering doing that because he is concerned that Griffin has taken too many sacks in the last five games and he wants to make sure that the quarterback is healthy enough to participate in the offseason training program.
Some have speculated that the threat to bench Griffin is not about the player’s health at all but instead a chess move by Shanahan to force Snyder to fire him. Griffin would not take well to being benched and some were wondering if Snyder might preempt the move by firing Shanahan. That would allow the coach to go off into unemployment with a $7 million check, money Snyder would owe him for the final year of his contract.
But that apparently is not going to happen, at least not yet. Snyder will let Shanahan choose the quarterback on Sunday.
Truth be told, if Shanahan is still the coach there is not much that Snyder can do to dictate who starts at any position. Shanahan contract gives him total authority over all football decisions and that certainly includes who is the starting quarterback.
There is an intriguing note at the bottom of the report: “The person with knowledge of the situation said it appears that Shanahan will coach the team this weekend, while conceding that still could change later Tuesday.”
[Related: Shanahan blasts special teams]