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McNabb, Redskins work on a future together, while Campbell remains uncertain

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Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

As the Redskins embark on contract negotiations to lock quarterback Donovan McNabb into a long-term deal, they apparently haven't ruled out the possibility of Jason Campbell returning for one more season. Still, the acquisition of McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles likely signaled the end of Campbell's run as a Redskin.

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The team will permit Campbell's agent, Joel Segal, to pursue trade possibilities that might benefit the quarterback and the Redskins, according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke on condition they not be identified by name.

McNabb arrived in Washington Monday afternoon and is expected to be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at Redskins Park. Already, the six-time Pro Bowler is prepared to begin discussions with his new employer on a contract extension that could keep him in a Redskins' jersey for several more years. McNabb's agent, Fletcher N. Smith III, said he was both "hopeful" and "optimistic" the two sides could come to an agreement on a contract extension soon.

McNabb, 33 years old and an 11-year veteran, has a deal that's set to expire at the end of the 2010 season.

"Usually when you have a trade of this magnitude, teams want to get an extension done because of the commitment they've made to acquire the player. The trade was just consummated, and my first goal was to make sure the trade happened, so that's where my focus has been," Smith said. "Donovan's desire was to play for the Washington Redskins, that's happened, and he's very happy it happened. The next step would be to see about that [extension], so we'll see."

McNabb's publicist, Rich Burg, said McNabb is calling his arrival in Washington a "rebirth," a characterization that seems to extend beyond just the quarterback, as the Redskins instantly have expedited their reconstruction process.

Coach Mike Shanahan is expected to address the team's future at Tuesday's news conference and the uncertainty that surrounds two of last year's biggest contributors. Not only does Campbell find himself searching for a team in need of a starting quarterback, but defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has received a rather public rebuke.

The Redskins initially offered their high-priced tackle to Philadelphia in exchange for McNabb, according to NFL sources, but the Eagles weren't interested. Just 13 months after signing a $100 million contract, Haynesworth's place in the organization is up in the air, as Shanahan has made no secret of his disappointment that Haynesworth opted to skip the team's offseason conditioning program.

Haynesworth has appeared in 12 games for the Redskins and has already been paid $32 million by the team. He is still owed a guaranteed $8 million over the course of the next two seasons.

Shanahan has said repeatedly that he wants players fully committed to turning around the Redskins' fortunes, which might not be a problem for his new quarterback. McNabb had multiple conversations with Shanahan Sunday night and also spoke with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

"He's ready. He's ready to go," said Smith, his agent. "He's absolutely happy with how things turned out."

As news of the McNabb trade reached Redskins' players Sunday night, many expressed surprise, compassion for Campbell and excitement over the team's future.

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