Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Shaw will be in "heavy demand" in 2020, and the Stanford coach has a "big proponent" in Washington head of football operations Bruce Allen. Shaw has been pursued by other teams in recent seasons but has rebuffed NFL offers to stay in college.
The 47-year-old has compiled an 86-34 record in nine seasons at Stanford. The Cardinal are coming off a 4-8 campaign, Shaw's first losing season as a head coach.
At numerous points in his career, Shaw has said he's happy at Stanford and coaching in the NFL is not a particular goal for him.
"I've coached at that level," Shaw told Howie Kussoy of the New York Post in 2017. "I've worked with All-Pro guys and Hall of Fame guys, and I've coached in every game except for the biggest one, so it's not like, 'OK, that's my goal and I have to get there.' My goal is to do great things at Stanford. If one day that happens, great, but it's not a goal in my career to do that."
The Washington vacancy is unlikely to be considered a premier job on the coaching market. The franchise has made the postseason just four times since the turn of the century and is heading toward its fourth straight losing campaign. Dan Snyder is widely considered one of the worst owners in professional sports, and Allen has been Snyder's right-hand man for the last decade.
The franchise is also embroiled in controversy after tackle Trent Williams accused the team of misdiagnosing a cancerous growth on his head. Williams ripped into Allen in an interview with Les Carpenter of the Washington Post this week after Washington chose to withhold the tackle's remaining salary for the 2019 season.
"It just goes to show you how behind the times [Allen] is, and he still tries to use that money to hold it over black athletes," Williams said.
That doesn't seem like a job that would make Shaw eager to end his Stanford tenure. However, the Cardinal haven't had a 10-win season since 2016, and it's clear Shaw is struggling to remain competitive at the top of the Pac-12. Now might be the time he decides taking the leap is worth the risk.