There's no question that Shanahan and Snyder are in a chess match.
Shanahan's leverage going into the original deal was his two Super Bowl rings and Snyder's PR disaster for being a meddling owner. Shanahan walked away with a ridiculous deal in his favor for tons of guaranteed money irregardless of his performance and total control of the team.
Going into the current situation, Shanahan's leverage is his contract with one more year and still residual bad PR for Snyder as being over-controlling (which in my opinion is totally unfair at this point). Shanny's reputation going into Washington was mixed, and now it's clear the Super Bowl rings don't count for much now and it's unlikely that any team, i.e. the Houston Texans, would be stupid enough to offer him a head coach position next year.
Snyder's best option is to find 1) find a clause in his contract with Shanny to justifiably release him without shelling out $7 million for next year 2) Negotiate with Shanny and let him save face by walking away with a $2+ million settlement for the last year in the contract. Shanny may want this if he thinks he has a chance to ever coach again because no one wants to hire someone that is a pain to part ways with. However, if Shanny is ready to call it quits for good, then we have to move to #3…
The third option is leave Shanny as the head coach but strip him of almost ALL of his regime powers and put them in the hands of a capable GM. Shanny can no longer tell the new defensive coordinator what plays to call EVER, Shanny can no longer hire ANY assistant coaches or coordinators (basically almost all of his staff will be fired). Shanny would stay on as basically a figurehead and Offensive Coordinator or Offensive Coordinator Advisor. He can have input in the draft, etc. Snyder would be wise to make an oral agreement with the next Redskins coach after Shanny in 2015 and ask him how we would like to see things go in 2014 to prepare for his successful arrival.
I highly doubt Snyder eats the $7 million and fires him without cause.
Let's see how this plays out….