The League

Les Carpenter
Staff Writer

Les Carpenter

Yahoo! Sports reporter and former NFL writer for The Washington Post.

Shanahan in Demand

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Mike Holmgren has developed some of the best quarterbacks the game has ever seen and took two teams to the Super Bowl. Bill Cowher repeatedly withstood significant free agent losses and kept the Steelers competitive for more than a decade, ultimately winning the championship just before he left football. But the out-of-work coach who will probably ignite the greatest bidding war is the one who accomplished the least in recent seasons.

Mike Shanahan.

It isn't much of a secret around football that both Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones are intrigued with Shanahan. And if each man chooses to fire his current coach after the 2009 season, it could generate a perfect storm for Shanahan. He would have the game's two most competitive owners, wealthy enough to throw millions at the man he wants most, fighting for his services. The battle could be unprecedented.

While Cowher has been content to sit out the last two seasons and Holmgren seems torn between coaching again and running a teamlink as a general manager or president, Shanahan appeared very much like a man who wants to keep coaching as he fought for his job at the end of last season. For a time in the late 1990s he looked to be the best coach in the league and appeared driven to prove himself as one of the best ever. But his legacy has been tied to John Elway, with whom he won his two Super Bowls. He has not had the same magic with subsequent quarterbacks like Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler. And he will want to prove he can win again with a different organization.

In the end, all three will have no trouble getting jobs -- if they want them. And there is an excellent chance Holmgren and Cowher will have more success with their new teams. But Shanahan is most likely going to be the one who will get the highest bid.

By Les Carpenter  |  May 13, 2009; 8:29 AM ET  | Category:  Coaching , Dallas Cowboys , Denver Broncos , Green Bay Packers , Seattle Seahawks , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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