Robert Griffin III is coming to town.
Oh, Shanahan admitted Tuesday that "nothing's 100 percent yet." But unless the Indianapolis Colts renege on selecting Andrew Luck first in Thursday's NFL Draft, the Redskins' selection will be Washington's worst-kept secret since Watergate.
"Sounds like we're picking Robert Griffin," Shanahan said.
Shanahan isn't seen smiling too often. Not after two years in turmoil. Beyond an 11-21 record, including a 2-10 slide to end last season, Shanahan regularly has had to deal with disgruntled players like Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb and suspensions to players like Trent Williams and Fred Davis.
Shanahan doesn't let his guard down too often. He doesn't want to give up any information that can provide opponents with an edge. Saying the Redskins are taking Griffin one day before the draft can be construed as giving New Orleans an extra 24 hours to fire up the Baylor game tapes before the Sept. 9 opener.
But Shanahan is getting a franchise player who either revamps the team or buries it for another decade. It's that big of a gamble after Washington sent three first-rounders and a second to St. Louis in exchange for the second overall selection.
One guy doesn't rebuild a team, Shanahan said. But after watching the NFL Combine and Griffin's personal workout in Waco, Texas, Shanahan has a real feel for the quarterback's ability.
Unlike the personality clash that dominated the failed 2010 trade for McNabb, Shanahan seems to mesh with Griffin. The quarterback is pretty charismatic, while the coach is no-nonsense, but something says Shanahan will adapt to the rookie who will decide the coach's final legacy.
"Robert's a pretty easy guy to like," Shanahan said.
Shanahan has to get this right to stick around in Washington and have a chance to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The coach is on the cusp of induction after two Super Bowl wins, but nobody wants to end his career with a handful of bad seasons. Griffin can reverse that.
"We've made some strides," Shanahan said of the Redskins' offseason acquisitions. Indeed, there may be 19 different starters this fall than when Shanahan arrived two years ago. It's finally his team.
The NFL's salary cap sanctions limited the Redskins' free agency plans, Shanahan conceded.
But the team will regain momentum after the draft. It's still trying to re-sign running back Tim Hightower. Meanwhile, Shanahan said tight end Chris Cooley's knee is faring well after he missed the final 11 games last season. Offensive tackle Jammal Brown's hip is better after pilates and yoga.
Some of the pieces are returning, but the game-changer will arrive Thursday just 10 minutes into the draft.
Shanahan's smiling. It must be a good day.