I would think the two objectives you are trying to accomplish — success and survival — are one in the same.
The contract extension is necessary because the language of locker rooms is money and contracts — who has one and for how much. The status of players is often measured by the size of their wallets, and players, no matter what the sport, look at the power of the coach based on the length of time they will have to deal with that coach. Free agents take that into consideration as well.
A lame-duck coach in the final year of his contract can be tuned out. A lame-duck coach has a hard time selling a free agent when that player has to be worried that his next coach may be Jim Zorn.
Shanahan hasn’t done much to help himself. He has never connected with Redskins fans and remains a stranger in a town that loves its football team. And he hired his son. It doesn’t matter that Kyle Shanahan is an excellent offensive coordinator and the offense is one of the best in the NFL. He’s the boss’s son. Nobody likes that.
He’s done some things right and some wrong. You could make the case that between the year of limited free agency, the lockout and the $36 million salary cap penalties, he’s never operated without at least one hand tied behind his back.
You can’t walk out of the movie now. It may be just getting good.
• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com