When will Donovan McNabb be released?

The moment Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb the second time, it was apparent that he wouldn't be part of the organization in 2011. The contract extension that McNabb signed Nov. 15 guaranteed him $3.5 million that he's already received.

Outside of that, the Redskins don't owe him anything. The honorable thing to do with a player of McNabb's stature would be to release him soon after the season ends and allow him to have a fresh start elsewhere. But the Redskins have the right to keep him around and see how things develop. It's hard to imagine a team trading for McNabb since he's reportedly owed $16.25 million next season. I realize that teams such as the Cardinals and Vikings will be desperate for help at quarterback, but McNabb's no longer an attractive option after having one of the worst seasons of his career.

He'll certainly be on a roster next season, but I'm not sure it will be as a starter. It's not like someone's going to send a second-round pick to the Redskins. Shanahan doesn't have anything to gain by keeping McNabb around Redskins Park for another few months.

A lot of us thought the Eagles were foolish to trade their starting quarterback to a division rival, but you'd have to say the move worked out for them. The player taken with the McNabb draft pick, safety Nate Allen, had an excellent rookie season before suffering a season-ending injury against the Giants on Sunday. He'll likely be the starter for years to come.

Meanwhile, the Redskins have to start over at quarterback. They tried to take a shortcut in the rebuilding process, but things obviously backfired. Shanahan will now look for a quarterback in the draft. Or I guess you could always trade for Kevin Kolb.