Continued from page 1

If necessary, however, those would’ve been the right moves, to cut them and move on, with no compensation for the wasted money and draft picks.

I’d like to think Shanahan realized as much and was fully prepared to do so, essentially admit “defeat” in trying to make Haynesworth a nose tackle and McNabb the answer under center.

Shanahan still “lost” the battle, though he traded them instead of cutting them. But give him props for moving decisively and acquiring a couple of late-round draft picks for his troubles.

If New England and Minnesota prosper with the former Redskins, so be it. They’re no longer Shanahan’s problem or concern.

As much as it must hurt him to acknowledge failure, there’s a lesson in the ordeal that could be a long-term benefit.

Shanahan still has to prove that he learned it.

But at least he aced the first test.