He’s inherited a roster without much top talent, and working through the NFL Draft to fill all their holes wasn’t going to be enough. They’ve stayed out of throwing money at free agents, so some sort of move had to be made. McNabb has one year to go on his contract. If he performs well, the Redskins can get first crack at signing him. If he doesn’t play up to Shanahan’s standards, then he’ll be a one-year band-aid.
The trade leaves the question: where will Shanahan go with the fourth choice of the Draft? He was also eyeballing Jimmy Clausen, but that won’t go down now. Shanny is going to get something that will help McNabb. He’s going to be looking for a pass protector like Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung, or an offensive weapon that he can deploy in the offense with McNabb.
Whatever Washington does, that could seriously affect that talent pool available to the Chiefs. If they stay at the No. 5 spot in the first round, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley would likely consider Okung among others as their choice. It also means that if some team is enamored with Clausen, the Chiefs may be able to deal that fifth pick and pick up more selections.
It hasn’t escaped the notice of talented Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers that one of the league’s top players at his position, Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, made a huge leap in 2009.
“It was his third year and he just exploded on the scene last year, separated himself from the pack,” Flowers said. “He wasn’t content to be just an NFL starter.”
Flowers intends to make a similar jump in 2010, his third NFL season. If so, he could become the first Chiefs cornerback to reach the Pro Bowl since James Hasty in 1999.
His work toward that end started in earnest this week when the Chiefs convened for the first time this year for their offseason conditioning program.
“People say the more years you play in the league, the slower you get,” Flowers said. “But I feel you can always train harder, get your endurance up even more. I haven’t been eating as well as I should these past few years. This year, I plan on eating all the way right the whole season. That will help prevent injuries. All that fried food, fried chicken, all that soul food, you’ve got to throw that out the window. Eat a lot of baked foods. Stay on a chicken and fish diet.
Until this week, I didn’t think the Governor’s Cup series between the Chiefs and Rams had this many fans. To me, the highlight of all those preseason clashes was the spectacular thunderstorm that rolled through Kansas City a couple of years ago and delayed kickoff for more than an hour.
I’m learning differently. I’ve received numerous e-mails wondering why the teams aren’t playing in the preseason this year and whether the series will eventually resume.
I suspect the series will resume, perhaps as soon as next year. The Chiefs and Rams took a two-year break in 1999 and 2000 but met in the preseason every season since. To tide you over until the preseason series resumes, the teams will play one another this year in the regular season in St. Louis.
The first person impacted is Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who appeared to be destined to go to Washington as the fourth pick in the first round. With Sam Bradford expected to go No. 1 to the St. Louis Rams, Clausen could now fall to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 5 and be reunited with former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, who is now the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. With the fourth pick in the draft, the Redskins can select offensive tackle Russell Okung of Oklahoma State.
Clausen also could fall to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 6 in the first round, but they might have to pass on him and take Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams because of their desperate need to improve the offensive line. If the Redskins take Okung and the Chiefs take Williams, the Seahawks could be left with the third and fourth options at tackle: Anthony Davis of Rutgers and Bryan Bulaga of Iowa.
That would leave the Seahawks with the option of taking Clausen even though they have Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst under contract. If they decided to pass on Clausen and the two remaining tackles, they could select safety Eric Berry of Tennessee.
Clausen then would be under consideration for the Cleveland Browns at No. 7 or the Buffalo Bills at No. 9. Browns president Mike Holmgren indicated the Browns intend to draft a quarterback, although when referring to Clausen in the past, Holmgren has said, “I wish I liked him more.”