We really don't know anything about what goes on at Redskins Park.

We get glimpses here and there, sometimes what the organization wants us to see, other times a sliver here and there of what the Redskins want to hide.

It's sort of like the Kremlin in the high red days or Peking during Mao's time. We are reduced to reading posters or interpreting messages.

Here's my interpretation of what we've seen so far during free agency for the Redskins -- they don't appear to be mortgaging the future to put together the 2013 roster under the harsh restrictions of the $18 million salary cap, the second year of the penalty levied by the NFL for trying to avoid the cap hit of Albert Haynesworth's oozing wound of a contract.

It appears that guys like Santana Moss and Brandon Meriweather are essentially taking pay cuts, while there is no evidence that players with big contracts that take up salary cap space -- like Trent Williams or Pierre Garcon -- are being asked to restructure their deals now to get the team under the salary cap in exchange for piles of cash into the next century.

That was the way of the old regime. That is in large part why the Redskins tried to use the loophole of the 2010 uncapped season to get out of the fiscal prison created by Vinny Cerrato and company.

However, the belief that the Redskins are not mortgaging their future to some extent flies in the face of the reality of a head coach who is entering the fourth year of a five-year deal and, after going 11-21 his first two years, is coming off a 10-win NFC East title season.

Mike Shanahan should be spending money like a drunken sailor. Most coaches in his circumstances -- fourth year of a five-year deal with a possible Super Bowl shot on the line and a few more personnel moves that could put them over the top -- would be lining up players to restructure deals to win now.

That's how coaches get a second five-year contract.

Then again, most coaches don't have their son on staff with the perception that he could inherit the job from his father some time in the near future.

The presence of Kyle Shanahan may be the best insurance for the Redskins to keep the financial foundation of the football side sound for years to come.

No one knows whether Mike Shanahan, given the opportunity, would remain as the head coach of this team after his five-year contract expires, perhaps opting to remain on as vice president of football operations with Kyle Shanahan taking over as the Redskins next head coach.

It's a scenario that has been widely speculated by NFL observers. If it is one that comes to pass, Mike Shanahan would probably not want to put the same handcuffs on his son that he has had to work with in rebuilding the organization.


columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.