The Washington Redskins only can play coulda, woulda, shoulda while watching Sunday's NFC Championship game.

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler faces Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, and with a little luck or savvy, one or the other could have been Washington's signal-caller. Instead, the Redskins again are looking for a quarterback.

The Redskins thought they had a deal for Cutler in April 2009 -- a move that involved sending quarterback Jason Campbell to Denver. Instead, Denver opted for Chicago's offer of Kyle Orton and picks.

Two years later, the Broncos have Tim Tebow as their likely 2011 starter even though Orton threw 41 touchdown passes in 29 games. Campbell instead was traded to Oakland last year for an absurd 2012 fourth-rounder and led the Raiders to an 8-8 mark. Chicago, meanwhile, is a game away from the Super Bowl.

Translation: Chicago was the winner, and Denver and Washington whiffed. How badly do you think Redskins coach Mike Shanahan wishes Washington made the Cutler trade? Instead, the Redskins dealt two high picks for Donovan McNabb only to bench him after 13 games. At most, Washington will receive a low selection for McNabb in the offseason.

Then there was the 2005 draft, in which Rodgers, once thought to be the No. 1 overall choice, fell to No.?24 -- one pick before Washington traded up to take Campbell.

The Redskins passed on Rodgers at No. 9 and selected cornerback Carlos Rogers. It's curious whether coach Joe Gibbs would have chosen Rodgers over Campbell if he had been available.

Then again, would Rodgers have survived Washington's constant turnover? Rodgers sat three years behind Brett Favre before emerging as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks. Campbell waited 25 games before starting, then endured 3? mediocre seasons behind a patchwork offensive line and two offensive systems before Shanahan traded him.

Translation: Not an easy call, but Rodgers might have fared better than Campbell had Washington drafted him. Then again, Shanahan might regret trading Campbell given McNabb's play. At least the Redskins wouldn't be considering spending another first-round pick to select a young quarterback.

And who might that quarterback be on April 28? The Redskins have the 10th pick -- maybe high enough to snag a decent prospect without overpaying or trading up. It could be Auburn's Cam Newton, who ironically seems to be a younger version of McNabb. He has good mobility, which is a good thing behind Washington's lackluster offensive line. Maybe it will be Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, a big-armed passer who needs to stay in the pocket.

The Redskins have so many needs and equally many options at No. 10 that they could go a half-dozen different ways -- including trading down for more picks.

Meanwhile, Redskins fans must watch Cutler and Rodgers with envy.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more at and on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or e-mail