Coaches can keep benching Donovan McNabb. He’ll just find a new way to cash in at the bank.
Two weeks after being benched for the second time in the past three seasons, McNabb was handsomely rewarded with a shiny, new contract extension with the Redskins. The former Eagle will make $78 million over the next five years, including $40 million guaranteed.
“He always said he wanted to retire here — after the trade [from Philadelphia],” said Fletcher Smith, McNabb’s agent. “He loves his teammates, he loves the city, he loves the fans.”
McNabb, whose 76.0 QB rating is his lowest since 1999, was benched in the final minutes of an Oct. 31 game against Detroit. Afterward, Shanahan said McNabb didn’t possess the “cardiovascular endurance” to run the team’s two-minute offense. Apparently, that is all water under the bridge.
“I think Coach [Mike Shanahan] and myself said that Donovan’s going to be here from the beginning and Donovan has been real clear in his intent of being a Redskin,” said Washington Vice President and General Manager Bruce Allen. “So, I think it just puts an exclamation point on it.”
When asked if McNabb was going to be a long-term Redskin, Allen replied, “That’s why we signed him to a contract.”
Three things we think …
1 WTF!?! — That was my reaction at around 3 p.m. yesterday when news broke that the Redskins had given McNabb an extension. The 33-year-old quarterback will be 38 at the end of this deal, which comes on the heels of a bitter feud between McNabb and his head coach. Clearly Redskins management has a different vision than the coaching staff. We find it hard to believe the two can coexist for the length of this deal.
2 Wall of support — Listening to D.C. sports talk radio, most of the callers and analysts were supportive of the deal. The main reason? Stability, something the Redskins franchise hasn’t had at the quarterback position since the early 1990s (yes, we’re talking Mark Rypien). Most think McNabb is a great quarterback, who is doomed to fail since he plays behind a porous offensive line. It’s the glass half full point of view.
3 Mind over money — A happy McNabb is usually a productive McNabb, right? After getting his pay bump with the Eagles in 2009, he posted the third-best QB rating of his career. Since it seems likely there will be no salary cap next season, maybe the Redskins are cashing their chips in early, hoping to make a run now. If McNabb bombs, they can cut him loose with virtually no financially backlash.