Redskins sign Donovan McNabb to a five-year, $78 million contract extension

Patrons at the BlackFinn saloon on I Street react to the news of Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb's five year extension.
By Rick Maese and Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, November 16, 2010; 1:04 AM

The Redskins gave Donovan McNabb a contract extension on Monday that could allow the veteran quarterback to retire as a member of the team, putting an end, for now, to questions about his future in Washington just two weeks after he was benched by Coach Mike Shanahan.

Amid speculation and news reports over the past two weeks that Shanahan was unhappy with McNabb, the team announced the news 31/2 hours before the start of Monday night's game against McNabb's former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, which the Redskins lost in spectacular fashion, 59-28.

"This is what Donovan wanted: to have a long career in Washington and end his career here. That never changed," said McNabb's agent, Fletcher N. Smith III. "And the fact that we could get this done tonight, with the Redskins playing the Eagles on Monday night and everything that goes with that - I couldn't have written a better script."

Neither Smith nor team officials would discuss terms of the deal. According to a league source, though, the extension is for five years and is worth $78 million. Initial reports indicated that $40 million would be guaranteed.

If McNabb plays out the whole contract, he would be a Redskin through the 2015 season. The 12-year veteran turns 34 on Nov. 25 and would be 39 years old at the conclusion of the deal.

While it took the two sides more than eight months to agree to terms, Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said team officials never wavered in their commitment to signing McNabb to a deal that would keep him in Washington.

"It's really something that we've known we're going to do for some time," Allen said during a pregame appearance ESPN 980, which is owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

The team didn't make Allen or Snyder available to reporters.

McNabb was hardly in a mood to celebrate his contract extension following Monday's big loss.

"That really wasn't the focus coming into this game," said a despondent McNabb, who finished 17-of-31 passing for 295 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

After such a lopsided loss, he said it was difficult to think about anything other than his team's subpar performance.

"My focus is just on the game," he said. "I guess that's one question that I don't have to answer any more. But this game is just - I'm embarrassed."

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