Nothing is certain, and it's possible that Snyder maintains his cool and lets things settle before making a decision. Yet one NFL source with knowledge of the situation confirmed a Washington Post report that management believes an ESPN story, which says Shanahan almost quit in the offseason, emerged from either Shanahan or the Shanahan camp.
What is certain: Snyder isn't happy about the situation, the source explained. "Furious" is the word that was used.
It's possible all of this could come to a head in the next few weeks or even next couple of days. Again, maybe Shanahan saves his job, but almost no one in the NFL thinks this is possible, and the general belief is that the Shanahan-Snyder relationship cannot be mended. Shanahan is in the fourth season of a five-year contract that pays him $7 million a season.
After the game, Shanahan did not deny the ESPN story. "It's not the right time or place to talk about my relationship with Dan Snyder," Shanahan told the media after Washington's ugly 45-10 loss. "Or it's not the right time or place to talk about something that happened a year ago."
The source also explained that Washington management believes Shanahan wants out of Washington so he can be a candidate for the vacant Houston Texans position. The Texans recently fired Gary Kubiak.
However, a league source said that while Texans owner Bob McNair would be highly interested in speaking to Shanahan (should he be available), Houston has some concern with hiring him should he leave Washington under ugly circumstances, and that is what could be happening.
"The Texans aren't going to want (Shanahan) if he's damaged goods," a league source explained.
All of this began with an ESPN.com report that Shanahan cleaned out his office this past January, planning to leave the team because of his anger over the closeness of Snyder to quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Yes, indeed, that is a particularly interesting story, if true. And yes, particularly interesting timing as well. Overall, this story could get terrifically interesting, and awful ugly. Fast.