The Redskins will allow quarterback Jason Campbell to seek a trade to another NFL team, head coach Mike Shanahan said.
Campbell and Shanahan had a lunch meeting on Monday, shortly after the team acquired Donovan McNabb in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Shanahan said Campbell asked if he could seek a trade to a team in need of a starting quarterback.
Campbell is a restricted free agent this offseason.
The Redskins tendered Campbell a contract at a first-round level, but he has not signed yet. He has until April 15 to sign the contract.
“Jason was very candid,” Shanahan said. “He asked me if I would allow him the opportunity, past April 15, to look for a starting job in the NFL. I told him, ‘Definitely.’ I told him that we would give him the ability to seek out the possibility to start for some team before the draft [on April 22].
“Now we’ll just wait and see. If it doesn’t work out, he’ll come back to us and go 110 percent. One thing you know about Jason Campbell is that he’s a first-class guy and he gives you everything he has.
“He’s going to look for something that he wants–to be a starter for [an NFL team]. Obviously he knows the situation right here and we’re going to give him every opportunity to seek what he’s looking for.”
Asked about the likelihood of Campbell returning to the Redskins in a backup role, Shanahan replied: “He has to evaluate that himself. He has to look at the situation top to bottom and make a decision what he wants to do.
“We just gave him the ability to do that, and as you well know as a restricted free agent he has until April 15 to do that anyhow. We just extended it through the draft.”
Since the McNabb trade was announced on Sunday, Campbell has not been in attendance at the Redskins’ off-season conditioning program.
Campbell is coming off a turbulent 2009 season.
Last year, team officials sought out replacements via trade and the NFL Draft. When the regular season kicked off, he struggled behind an injury plagued offensive line and the Redskins finished 4-12.
Despite the offense’s struggles, Campbell consistently posted solid numbers.
He set career highs by completing 327-of-507 passes, a 64.5 percent clip, for 3,618 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His QB rating was 86.4.
Campbell was drafted by the Redskins in the first round (25th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft.
In 52 career games, all starts, Campbell has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 10,680 yards, 55 touchdowns and 38 interceptions. His career QB rating is 82.3.
The Redskins’ record under Campbell is a disappointing 20-32. He has developed his leadership skills through the years, but he has been criticized for being quiet and reserved at times.
Now McNabb has arrived to assume the Redskins’ starting quarterback job.
Campbell and McNabb have developed a bond through the years.
They talked on Monday night, McNabb said during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.
“I’ve tried to be a mentor to him,” McNabb said. “I want to see nothing but success for him, and obviously for him to try to revive his career. We just reflected on a couple moments, personal moments [in the telephone conversation].
“I told him to ‘Continue to have your head high. Every now and then your life goes in reverse. This is just another hurdle that you will be able to go over and continue walking down that path that God has set for you.’”