How much money is Donovan McNabb really guaranteed in his new deal? His agent wasn't saying Monday night.
Reports are the Redskins handed him $40 million guaranteed, and up to $88 million with incentives. There are questions, however, about how much is truly guaranteed "for skill" -- in other words, how much does McNabb actually keep if he is cut (some contracts are guaranteed in case of injury but not if a team decides to cut a player). Smith, was evasive when asked about that issue.
"I’m not exactly sure how much is guaranteed for skill. Not many of these deals are guaranteed for skill at the time of signing just because of the CBA, so most of them are locked in at a future date," Smith said.
He said McNabb loves Washington, though, and doesn't want to bounce from city to city chasing a championship.
"He said he he loved it here, loves his teammates, loves the city and the way the fans have embraced him and organization as well," Smith said.
He said McNabb, after years of questions about his future in Philadelphia, was eager to establish some stability.
"Donovan has been in this cycle for three or four years now, with the Eagles, sort of year to year, so I think it was important for him to know that this would be his home for the next few seasons," Smith said.
He said he and the Redskins talked immediately after McNabb's benching against the Lions two weeks and that the two sides had hoped to get a deal done during the bye, when McNabb would not be focused on a game.
Smith said he was looking beyond the benching, but did say, "the last two minutes of the game that’s really where you earn your money, so it did not make sense to me, friend or not. As a football guy it didn’t make sense to me."
Here are two knee-jerk reactions to the deal:
1. I wonder if the benching added urgency to get the deal done. If the Redskins really wanted to keep McNabb as a stabilizing presence, they needed to repair their relationship with him fast. The team has struggled for years to find a steady quarterback and apparently doesn't want to keep the carousel turning. This is just a guess, but maybe they stepped up their efforts to get McNabb a deal before the relationship had a chance to deteriorate further.
2. You can bet Michael Vick and his representatives will be aware of this deal. If the NFL's 25th rated passer who has led his team to a .500 record gets up to $88 million, how much will Vick command, considering that he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league this season and is undefeated in games he starts and finishes?
We'll see the two friends face off in a few hours (and whether Vick can add to that record). Earlier today we examined the many twists and turns this year for the Eagles, Redskins, Vick and McNabb and how they brought success in Philadelphia and a rocky ride in Washington.