Landover, Md. Never mind whether Donovan McNabb can go for two minutes. The Washington Redskins have decided they’d like to have him around for another five years.
And never mind whether he was worth a pair of draft picks. The Redskins figure he’s worth $40 million in guaranteed money.
Two weeks after they caused an uproar by benching him in the final 1:50 of a loss to the Detroit Lions, the Redskins on Monday signed McNabb to a five-year contract extension worth $78 million — giving top-grade money to a quarterback who is about to turn 34 and is having his worst season since he was a rookie.
The Redskins decided the six-time Pro Bowler will remain a centerpiece in coach Mike Shanahan’s rebuilding project, even as both endure growing pains with the Redskins’ new offense.
“Now he doesn’t have to focus or concentrate on what next year will bring,” said Fletcher Smith, McNabb’s agent. “He knows he’s going to be a Redskin; now he can focus on playing football.”
The deal came with impeccable timing. It was announced a few hours before McNabb and the Redskins faced the quarterback’s longtime team, the Philadelphia Eagles, Monday night. It also came before McNabb was able to take his first snap following the bizarre Halloween events in Detroit.
With the Redskins trailing by six points, Shanahan yanked McNabb for Rex Grossman, only the second time McNabb has been benched during a game in his career.