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Should the Redskins keep Jason Campbell?

Even if they draft a QB, a veteran who can run the system is worth keeping. Matt Bowen

Print This February 15, 2010, 06:56 AM EST

There have already been reports and speculation — from the Washington Post — that the Redskins and new coach Mike Shanahan are looking at drafting a QB with the No. 4 pick this April.

Sam Bradford of Oklahoma was the first name to surface, and the National Football Post’s Wes Bunting — in his first mock draft of the 2010 offseason — pegged Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen to the ‘Skins in the first round.

Bradford vs. Clausen is a nice discussion (and one we’ll have later this offseason), but where does that leave last year’s Redskins starter, Jason Campbell?

For me, it has always been hard to judge Campbell’s career as the quarterback in Washington. He’s played for multiple head coaches and multiple offensive coordinators, not to mention the disaster he and his offense went through last year under Jim Zorn.

To call that playing in an adverse situation would be an understatement. We never got to see what Campbell could truly do. Does he have issues with his game? Of course, but there’s still plenty of talent there.

Keeping Campbell around is the smart play for the ‘Skins. And it’s a necessity, in my mind, if reports are correct about Shanahan’s desire to start developing that talent at QB.

The ‘Skins want to draft a rookie QB at No.4? OK, understandable, but don’t let Campbell walk because of it.

Campbell is a restricted free agent. And because of that, the ‘Skins can get him for cheap — basically a one-year deal. Place a high tender on him and let him compete. Since he took the job, Shanahan has spent his time watching tape on Campbell. The front office knows what he can do, and the fan base is going to have its own opinion of him as well.

But until we see him running Shanahan’s system this spring and into August, we can’t answer if he’s a good or bad fit.

My opinion? I think he’s perfect for the job. Shanahan’s scheme is full of movement passes. They want to get the QB out of the pocket, and for any defensive player who faced the Broncos under Shanahan, you know what to expect: the boot, the swap boot, the deep vertical game of play action and enough zone running to set up the QB in favorable situations.

But no matter what I say in my biased opinion as an ex-Redskin, I still go back to the deal. One year. That’s all Shanahan and ‘Skins owner Daniel Snyder will have to settle for. A one-year deal that can give them some sense of security if a rookie QB isn’t ready to play. And I find it hard to believe either Bradford or Clausen will be ready for the NFC East.

It’s a cheap move, and it’s a move that gives the Redskins options. If Campbell wins the job, he’s your guy. And if he doesn’t — and he loses out to a high-priced rookie — then you have a cheap backup.

One who’s more than capable of producing in the Shanahan offense in Washington.

We all know that the ‘Skins tried to move Campbell last offseason and would most likely do it again if they had the right offer. But why take the risk of losing a QB with NFL staring experience when you don’t have to.

Sounds like an easy solution to me.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

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