Mike Shanahan's career with the Washington Football Team was tied to the success of Robert Griffin III. The elder Shanahan may still be in the league if he was able to draft the quarterback he had really wanted.
"I remember in Washington we already took RG3 and Kirk (Cousins) I ranked as the higher guy," Kyle Shanahan said on The Rich Eisen Show Monday. "Before we made that trade, I wanted to take him in the second round. My dad loved Russell Wilson and he planned on taking him in the fourth round.
"And then when we took Robert, he told me all along if Russell Wilson was there in the fourth round -- he was going to take him."
Of course, Wilson wasn't still on the board, as the Seahawks took him in the third round at No. 75 overall. Imagine if Washington had drafted Wilson and how much different things might've been. Wilson has the second-most passing touchdowns (267) in his first nine seasons in the NFL -- trailing only Peyton Manning. He also has the fifth-most passing yards (33,946), and second-highest passer rating (101.7) for a quarterback after his first nine seasons. He also took the starting job in Seattle by Week 1 of his rookie season and never gave it up, winning a Super Bowl by Year Two.
Remember, Wilson and Griffin III faced off in the first playoff start for both in their rookie seasons. RG3 suffered a torn ACL in that game and his career has never been the same, leading Cousins to emerge in Washington. Griffin III might have never been Rookie of the Year if Wilson was on the roster -- or Wilson may have never been on his Hall of Fame pace since Year One (potentially never winning a Super Bowl).
"Russell was gone by then, so we're sitting there on the clock. My dad goes 'I'm gonna take Cousins,'" Shanahan said. "I was like 'Dad, why the hell are you taking Cousins.' He said you had him ranked so high and we love him as a player. I wasn't going to say no to that -- go ahead and take him."