WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb has been benched for the remainder of the season with Rex Grossman scheduled to start Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins said on Friday.
“I also told him (McNabb) that I could not guarantee him that he would be back next year,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told the team’s website (www.redskins.com).
McNabb, 34, had started every game for the Redskins (5-8) this season after being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles in April.
He signed a five-year, $78 million extension with Washington last month, but his future with the team had been in doubt for some time.
He was guaranteed an extra $3.5 million this year under the extension, but the deal allowed the Redskins to release him before next season without any additional payment.
“I talked to Donovan after practice (on Thursday) and I told him that once we were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs that I made a decision to start Rex Grossman,” Shanahan said.
“I told Donovan that there’s nothing he could do in the final three games that would influence me on what he has done over the last 13 games,” the coach added.
“Right now I have to do what is in the best interest of this organization and that’s to get a good feel for where we’re at the quarterback position,” Shanahan said.
John Beck will be Grossman’s backup for the remainder of the season, the coach said.
Grossman, 30, has not started a game since November 9, 2008 when he was with the Chicago Bears.
He played the final two minutes of an October loss to the Detroit Lions after Shanahan benched McNabb.
Writing by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Alan Baldwin