It's pretty clear that to Donovan McNabb, the reworking of the final two years of his contract, netting him about $5.3 million in extra cash, according to a source close to the situation, and a guarantee for 2010, is about security. If healthy, McNabb now will be the Birds' starting quarterback the next two seasons.
But what is the benefit to the Eagles? Well, it's pretty simple -- the key piece in what they hope will be the Super Bowl-winning puzzle is no longer going to be sending out any signals of disaffection or aloofness. They have made their franchise quarterback feel much more secure than he felt a little less than seven months ago, when McNabb was benched for the second half of a terrible loss in Baltimore.
Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie took a break yesterday from his NFL softball tournament on a NovaCare practice field -- Lurie had just doubled down the leftfield line against the Steelers, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly -- to explain the team's motivation. He alluded to "a sense of fairness" in addressing a contract signed back in 2002.
"The franchise quarterback is really the face of the franchise, the head coach and the franchise quarterback," Lurie said, sweatily. "When you run a sports team, there's times when you have to understand what you have, and (display) a sense of fairness with a guy who's been the face of your franchise for so long. He never complained once in the seven years of his contract. It's just a win-win, I thought."