With the from the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles, Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen have made it clear they are trying to make a quick turnaround in Washington.
"That definitely sent a message," said 32-year-old center Casey Rabach, who re-signed with the Redskins in March. "This isn't about rebuilding. This is about going out to win games now. At this stage of my career, that's exciting."
Prior to trading for McNabb, the Redskins had signed eight players in free agency. All of them will be at least 30 by November 11. This is no youth movement.
It harkens back to the days Allen's late Hall of Fame father, George Allen, was running the Redskins. The future is now, was his philosophy back in the 1970s.
"Talking to guys this morning, everyone was excited," Rabach said after his workout at the Redskins Park. "Everyone knows the kind of player that Donovan is, the kind of leader he is. He's a winner on and off the field."
The Redskins gave up the 37th overall choice in this month's draft as well as a third- or fourth-round selection in 2011 for McNabb, who will be formally introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.
Among active quarterbacks, only Minnesota's Brett Favre, Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and New England's Tom Brady have more regular season victories than McNabb's 92. Only Favre has been to as many conference title games. And among active passers with at least 60 starts, only Brady, Manning, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and San Diego's Philip Rivers have a higher winning regular season percentage than McNabb's .648.
The news of the McNabb trade was not necessarily good for Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell. Last year's starter has a career 20-32 record and hasn't played a playoff game. His career-high 86.4 passer rating from 2009, matches the fifth-best single season for McNabb.
Campbell, who couldn't be reached for comment, had lunch with Shanahan on Monday but doesn't figure to be retained. The Redskins have already signed former Chicago starter Rex Grossman, who played under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in Houston last year, as a backup.
"Jason is a great guy and he's handled all the controversy he's been through as well as it could be handled, but the best thing for him now would to be traded," Rabach said.
Carolina, Buffalo, Oakland and perhaps Jacksonville could be interested in trading for the 28-year-old Campbell, who started 52 of Washington's past 56 games while trying to master three different offenses. McNabb, the first player chosen by the Eagles in the 1999 draft, benefited from playing his entire 11-year career in Philadelphia under one coach, Andy Reid, and in one system.
"Donovan can still play and do a nice job for a long period of time," Reid said. "I look at the last quarterback I coached (as a Green Bay assistant) and that was Brett Favre. He's about 150 years old and still playing."
McNabb's arrival also alters Washington's draft outlook. The Redskins now have just one pick No. 4 overall among the first 100.
Given the retirement of six-time Pro Bowl tackle Chris Samuels and no ready replacement on the roster, Washington will almost certainly look at filling that void in the first round. Oklahoma State's Russell Okung and Rutgers' Anthony Davis, two of the leading available left tackles, will visit Redskins Park this week.