Monday, November 15, 2010

McNabb Gets Extended 5 years

Quarterback Donovan McNabb signed a 5 year contract extension with the Washington Redskins today, prior to a NFC East showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field.  The deal is worth 78 million, with 40 million in guaranteed money.  McNabb will be 39 when the deal expires.

This announcement comes at somewhat an odd time.  Controversy has been surrounding the Redskins for two weeks after McNabb was benched with 2 minutes left in an eventual loss to the Detroit Lions in favor of Rex Grossman.  This has been the story surrounding the Monday Night Football game tonight, until this signing of course.

While it is curious why the deal got done when the relationship between McNabb and head coach Mike Shanahan appears to be at an impasse, it is not surprising for owner Dan Snyder to time the announcement to change the story.  The Redskins organization (and Snyder in particular) has always been timely when announcing news.  They are very knowledgeable of the news cycle, and changing the story leading up to a pivotal division game with a national television audience is just the latest example of that media savvy.

The deal also shows a lot of confidence in McNabb, something he was undoubtedly lacking (no matter what he has been telling the press for the last two weeks) after being taken out of the game with the pressure on.  Players live to be counted on in that situation, and being benched couldn't have felt good for the 11 year veteran.

It is a little risky with McNabb's age and the possibility of a work stoppage next season, but it is a deal that will be hard to judge until McNabb's tenure with the Redskins ends.  Until then, this deal could be just what the Redskins and McNabb need to forget about the negative attention that resides from the loss to the Lions and be able to focus on tonight's game against the Eagles.  With the confidence and pride of a new contract, look for McNabb to have a game that proves to his doubters and the Redskins that he deserves it.

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