Nothing is straightforward about Donovan McNabb these days. It turns out the $40 million US he is supposed to be guaranteed in his new contract could turn out to be a mere $3.5 million.
McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, clarified some of the details of McNabb's deal Tuesday. He says while the contract is worded so that it has "$40 million in guarantees," the Redskins do have an option to cut McNabb at the end of the season with no further money due.
McNabb receives a $3.5 million bonus this year as part of the new agreement, but the rest of the five-year, $78 million package would come to naught if the team decides to cut ties.
The clause essentially gives the Redskins seven more games to decide if McNabb is truly the quarterback to lead the team under coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan infamously benched McNabb in the final 2 minutes of a loss to Detroit two weeks ago, but the contract extension was supposed to solidify the relationship between the team and the quarterback.
On Monday night, hours after signing the new deal, McNabb and the Redskins played one of the worst games in franchise history, losing 59-28 to McNabb's old team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
McNabb tied a career-high with three interceptions and is only two interceptions away from a career-high for a season, but he is also playing in a new offence with a suspect offensive line and not enough reliable receiving targets.
Asked about his chances of not being with the Redskins next season, McNabb said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on ESPN980 that there is language in the deal that was necessitated by the possibility of a lockout.
"That doesn't mean I won't be a Redskin," McNabb said. "I will be here next year. ... Not just next year, but after that as well."
McNabb also responded to Cincinnati receiver Terrell Owens, who took a dig at McNabb over the Monday night debacle by tweeting: "How do u justify a 78 million dollar contract w/this type of performance?"
"It's funny he's worried about what I'm doing," McNabb said. "When what are they, 2-6?"
Worse than that. The Bengals are actually 2-7.