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'Skins picking Beck over McNabb? Move makes some sense

I had someone pose something interesting to me this week while watching "The Top 100: Players of 2011" on NFL Network as voted by the players. Donovan McNabb's peers voted in as No. 100 -- one of 12 quarterback to make the list. John Beck, Washington's third-string quarterback behing McNabb and Rex Grossman last season, might not even be a top-1,000 player -- yet the Redskins view him as a potential starter. So, I was asked, is that a crazy idea?

And, I suppose, on some level it just might be. But football decisions aren't made in a vacuum and it seems to me that now, finally, in Year Two, Mike Shanahan has grasped exactly how big a chore he has. After trading multiple draft picks for McNabb and Jammal Brown a year ago, now he seems to be focused on the long haul.

This team has major roster voids, and finding out about Beck -- who Shanahan also traded for and likes -- makes sense. Paying McNabb a $10 million roster bonus just to stick as possible insurance makes far less sense to me.

McNabb's very public defrocking last year as Washington's starting quarterback, so soon after arriving there in a blockbuster trade, has made this situation untenable. Dropping him to basically inactive status down the stretch doesn't make it very easy to just turn back to the esteemed veteran a few months later and try to pretend he is the leader of your team again.

Doesn't work that way.

McNabb wants out and the Redskins have created a situation where he needs to go. McNabb's issues with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the fact the staff has made it clear he does not seem to be a fit in their scheme make it silly to try to force things again and potentially undermine another season.

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Going with a cheap, developmental quarterback isn't crazy to me, especially when the offensive line is in tatters. Paying a quarterback $15 million a season to get crushed week in and week out does sound crazy.

Whether or not McNabb truly is still a top-12 QB at this stage of his career remains to be seen, but Beck could surprise some people. All of this also screams out for the Redskins to take a flier on Vince Young -- an athletic passer who can make plays outside the pocket, as Shanahan has enjoyed using his entire career.

Young, too, could come cheap and Shanahan has always believed he could find that diamond in the rough at the quarterback spot. Winning with Beck or being the guy who rescued Young's career and turned him around would be right up Shanahan's alley as well.

I could see a Beck/Young combo deal before I could see McNabb back under center ... But in this league, who knows? Crazier things have happened.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @jasonlacanfora.

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