Washington Redskins: Ongoing Contract Talks With Donovan McNabb

Josh McCainSenior Writer IOctober 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 03:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after throwing a first quater touchdown pass against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Loyal reader, I'll be honesty with you, I put off writing this article because honestly I thought by this point in the season I wouldn't have to write this article.

I figured by week seven Donovan McNabb would have a contract extension and I would have finally bought my very own number 5 jersey.  The only hic-up would be whether I wanted it in white or burgundy.

However that hasn't happened yet, and the hic-up isn't what color I want my jersey to be, but whether McNabb wants to be a Redskin next year or whether the Redskins want him next year.

I have to assume that the Redskins do want Donovan McNabb to be the quarterback of this team for the next few seasons, after all they did give up a second round draft pick for him in the 2010 draft, and either a 3rd or 4th round pick in the 2011 draft.

Giving up two relatively high picks should signal that they're not rent the guy for the season, especially since when they made the trade they weren't just a franchise quarterback away from the Super Bowl.

Shoot they're even working on his footwork to improve his throwing motion, something they probably wouldn't bother with if they didn't plan on re-signing him.

So does the stall in a contract mean Donovan doesn't want to be a Redskin after this season?

I doubt it.

This could be all talk by McNabb but he's saying the right things about wanting to be in D.C. past this season.  He moved his family here, something I doubt he'd do if he didn't expect to be here after this year.

And when Donovan talks about how Mike Shanahan finally got John Elway over the hump and won a Super Bowl and how he relates that to his own career I think he honestly believes it. 

After all for the majority of Donovan's career in Philly he was doing it alone on offense, and for the majority of Elway's career in Denver he was doing it all on his own.

There are of course a lot of people speculating that McNabb really wants to rejoin his former offensive coordinator Brad Childress in Minnesota after Brett finally retires, and shoot now there is the perceived add bonus of Randy Moss being there to throw to.

But to be honest I doubt he wants to be in Minnesota.

Sure there is the comfort factor there with his former OC running the show, but Childress is a terrible head coach.  He helped lose the NFC Championship last season just as much as the Saints won it, and the slow 2-3 start by the Vikings falls with his failure as a head coach.

Depending on how Minnesota finishes up this season may decide Chilly's fate.  After all if you go from tanking in the NFC Championship game to a losing season and missing the play-offs then you might be unemployed.

Also, like McNabb, Moss hasn't signed an extension yet either, so even though there is a nice honeymoon going on right now for the Vikings if they continue to lose and Moss doesn't sign a contract who is to say he'll be a Viking next year.

There are also whispers that McNabb would like to just stay home in Arizona next year and play for the Cardinals.

To be honest with you I don't think the Cardinals want him.

During the off-season they knew Kurt Warner wasn't coming back, Coach Ken Whisenhunt knew that Matt Leinart wasn't his guy, and they more than enough to bargain with to make a trade for McNabb.

I can only assume they didn't land McNabb because they didn't really want him.

I think Whisenhunt wants to get younger at quarterback and according to Peter King he's really big on rookie Max Hall, who has already been made the starter.

In spite of Hall's growing pains at the position doesn't Whisenhunt want to risk a sent back to Hall by bringing in McNabb for 4-5 years and benching the rookie?

And though the Cardinals to have Larry Fitzgerald at wide-out they're no where near the team that beat Donovan McNabb and the Eagles to go to their first Super Bowl.

In fact I dare say the Redskins are much closer to a Super Bowl birth than the Cardinals, so honestly if Donovan is serious about winning a Super Bowl before retiring going to Arizona probably isn't the best choice.

So then, why is it taking so long to get the extension signed?

Right now I would say two factors are to blame.

The first one is obvious, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Right now there isn't one and the Redskins have no idea what the salary cap is going to look like from here on out.

I'm sure Bruce Allen wants to open up Dan Snyder's check book to Donovan and sign him up until the end of his career, but in case the cap gets lowered he doesn't want to tie his hands with regards to other free agents as well as signing future draft picks.

After all this has been the same hic-up to preventing Peyton Manning from getting an extension with the team he's spent his whole career with and the team that would be nothing without him.

Which brings me to my second point.  Peyton Manning doesn't even have a deal yet.

Now that Brady is locked up in the New England I'm sure the Redskins are waiting to see what the Colts offer Manning and what Manning eventually accepts.

After all the Redskins have been known for setting the market at positions instead of going with it.  That of course was when Dan Synder and his lacky Vinny Cerrato were running the show.

Now they have Bruce Allen as the general manager and he's a bit smarter than those two when it comes to player personnel issues.

There is no doubt that Donovan McNabb is an elite quarterback, there is no doubt that he'll make it to the Hall of Fame one day, and there is also no doubt that he isn't as good as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

So why pay him more than those two?

I'm sure if Vinny were still running the show McNabb would have a new contract because they wouldn't wait to see what others were doing at that position they would just toss a bunch of money at McNabb and it would probably be more than what he's worth.  For examples see Albert Haynesworht, Dion Sanders, Antwan Randel El, Bruce Smith, Jeff George, and the list goes on.

Bruce Allen is smarter than that.  He knows the offensive line still needs work and that the defense doesn't have all the right personnel it needs to be the type of 3-4 defense that Pittsburgh has (which is the model the Redskins are following).

So he's going to need to draft and sign free agents in the next couple of off-seasons to accomplish this.  He doesn't want the same problems this team has had the past ten years with the Salary cap.

Therefore he's going to wait and see what the market is for quarterbacks and then offer McNabb what he feels is fair for a quarterback his age and at his skill level.

I'm not ready to push the panic button yet on Donovan not being a Redskin after this season, but I'm also not 100% confident he will be here next season (the reason why I haven't bought my jersey yet).

However this is honestly how I see it playing out.

Right now the Indianapolis Colts are on a bye-week.  General Manager Bill Polian has probably spent most of his time talking with Peyton's Agent trying hammer out a deal to lock up Manning for the rest of his career.

Within the next three weeks Peyton will sign his extension.

What is three weeks away for the Redskins?

You guessed it their bye-week, in which Bruce Allen will be doing the same thing.

He'll be on the phone day and night with McNabb's agent and my guess is he'll have his contract signed before the Redskins take the field again after their week off.

It seems almost too simple to work but it will.

The Redskins invested too much into McNabb not to re-sign him, and McNabb has worked too hard with Shanahan's system this season not to want to continue and get better in it.

Both sides want the same thing it's just agreeing on the numbers that is the difficult part and if it weren't for the expired CBA we probably wouldn't even be here and McNabb would already have a contract.

So fear not Redskin Nation, Donovan McNabb will be the quarterback of this franchise for at least 3-5 more years.


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