- Donovan McNabb will be under contract for another five seasons after reportedly signing a deal worth $78 million.
The agent for Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb said that his client is relieved and happy to have gotten his contract extension out of the way and that he looks forward to being able to focus entirely on football for the remainder of the season.
Fletcher Smith said that he and the Redskins, particularly vice president of football administration Eric Schaffer, had been working on the deal for about “five months or so,” and that things finally came together this week.
“The idea was, we’d liked to have gotten it done before the beginning of the season,” said Smith, who flew in from Chicago to complete the deal and spoke to reporters before the Redskins’ Monday Night Football game against the Philadelphia Eagles. “But if we could not do that, we would pace ourselves with the idea of potentially getting it done at the bye week. So once the bye week came around, we kind of ramped up our efforts in hopes of getting it done. But our position from our side, remained the same, that if we couldn’t get it done, we were perfectly content to wait until after the season. Things came together quickly and it made sense for both sides and we were happy to get it done.”
Smith said that contrary to reports, the Redskins and McNabb weren’t close to completing the deal -- which is $78 million spread out over five years with $40 million in guaranteed money -- in October. The agent said the average dollars per year, and the amount of guaranteed money were still not close to being agreed on a month ago. With the target date for finishing the deal being the bye week, Smith said he and the Redskins “ramped up” their efforts and then completed most of the negotiating yesterday.
As McNabb has said repeatedly in the last two weeks, his benching at the end of the Redskins’ loss to Detroit didn’t impact his desire to return to Washington.
“Donovan is a professional. And this is not the first bit of adversity that he has faced and as you all saw, he handled it with as much dignity and class as he has for his career, really,” Smith said. “It was a small blip and he put it behind him. I asked if he wanted to be here, and he said absolutely. He loves his teammates, loves the city and how the fans have embraced him and the organization as well. And as long as he was happy here, that made it easy to get it done.”
Smith was asked if the benching gave McNabb more leverage, given that he could’ve been upset and chosen to take his talents elsewhere given the way Mike Shanahan handled the move.
Smith chuckled and tried to find a way to dance around that question and then said that whether it gave McNabb more leverage or not, both sides knew that the other wanted to get a deal done.
Following the benching, it was speculated that McNabb would look elsewhere in the offseason, possibly to Minnesota, where his former Philadelphia offensive coordinator Brad Childress is head coach, or to Arizona, where he makes his offseason home.
But Smith said that McNabb had a great comfort level with the Redskins organization and so he saw no point of testing the unknown.
“He likes it here. You never know what you’re going to get in Minnesota, or Arizona from an organization standpoint.” Smith said. “This team, I’m not in the locker room, but from what Donovan has said, is a very tight-knit group, they really play for each other, they really showed up big for him in the first game against the Eagles. I think he really likes it in the locker room and the fans have been great. When you weigh all things, it seemed like a perfect fit for him, and I think it was, why start over when you don’t have to, especially not knowing what would happen.”
The Washington Redskins and quarterback Donova McNabb have agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $78 million, squashing rumors that head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan were unhappy with the quarterback and no longer saw him as part of their long-term plans.
Published: 3:30 p.m. -- The Washington Redskins and quarterback Donova McNabb have agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $78 million, squashing rumors that head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan were unhappy with the quarterback and no longer saw him as part of their long-term plans.
The move came just hours before McNabb was to take the field for the first time since Mike Shanahan benched him in favor of Rex Grossman with the Redskins trailing the Detroit Lions 31-25 with 1:50 left to play on Oct. 31.
Despite that move, McNabb continued to express a desire to re-sign with the Washington Redskins, and last week, Washington general manager Bruce Allen told TBD that he expected McNabb to be with the Redskins for "several years."
Allen wasn't made available to reporters today, but speaking to ESPN 980 -- the radio station that Redskins owner Dan Snyder owns -- Allen said, "as we've said for months now, we had ongoing talks and once hte regular season started, we really were aiming toward the bye week and it came together."
McNabb's agent Fletcher Smith was in town both for tonight's meeting between Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles and to try to further advance the contract negotiations that had been ongoing all season long.
His client and the Redskins have agreed to a deal that features $40 million in guaranteed money.
Smith and the Redskins were reportedly discussing a deal that was similar to the four-year, $72-million extension that the New England Patriots gave to Tom Brady earlier this season. That deal featured $48.5 million in guaranteed money.
Instead, Washington inked McNabb, who will be 34 on Nov. 25, to a deal that is a year longer than Brady's and also could exceed it in dollars earned. Should McNabb meet certain incentives, the deal could reach as much as $88 million.
Even after the benching versus Detroit and when Shanahan's reasons for the move changed in the days that followed, McNabb said that he hadn't lost faith in his coach, or the organization. He said that the bond he had developed with his teammates made his desire to return to the Redskins a firm stance.
“I said once the trade was final, that I wanted to be here," McNabb told TBD two weeks ago. "I’ve got a great group of guys in the locker room, who are fighting for each other, who are defending each other, who are supporting one another. And that’s something I enjoy and want to be a part of.”
McNabb has admitted that his relationship with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a work in progress, but although the transition hadn't been as smooth as he had hoped, he expressed confidence that their marriage could succeed.
McNabb last week also pointed to the support he has received from the Redskins fans as a plus to his situation in D.C. and said it was a nice change from the near constant criticism he received in Philadelphia.
"It’s good to have the fans backing you and supporting you," McNabb said. "You get in certain situations and they can add their opinions and things of that nature, and you feel confident that you can just go out and be yourself. And when you have your fans and the supporters of the Redskins supporting you, you have everything you need to give you that push that you need.”
McNabb, who will be 39 towards the end of the final season of the contract, receives his extension despite not having his finest season as a pro. He has thrown for seven touchdowns and eight interceptions and owns a 57.4 completion percentage. He also has been sacked 22 times.
The Redskins rank 24th in points per game with 19.4, and are 23rd overall in yards per game (325.5). Washington ranks 15th with 230.9 passing yards a game.