Give and Take in Philly

By Lloyd Vance, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 4, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (BASN) – Even though Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has been doing most of his talking this off-season through his blog, things are definitely afoot around Big 5.

The other day Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia reported that the Eagles and McNabb have quietly been discussing a new contract for the signal caller for the past month.

Apparently the upcoming deal will focus on renegotiating the last two years of McNabb’s current deal — due $9.2 Million in ’09 and $10 Million in 2010 from his 2002 of 12 year, $115 million dollars w/ $20.5 million guaranteed — rather than seeking a long term extension.

One might think that the Eagles apprehension to signing a long term deal with their franchise quarterback centers around them taking a wait-and see attitude with the 11-year veteran.

Everyone knows that 2009 season is a make or break season for McNabb, 32, as he was a little inconsistent at times in 2008 throwing for numbers 345-571, 3916 yards, 23 TDs, and 11 INTs.

But I believe the main reason that the team doesn’t want to commit to a long-term deal at this time is the uncertain economic environment around the NFL and NFLPA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

With a potential uncapped year in 2010 and the owner’s threatening a lockout in 2011, NFL teams are taking a cautious attitude towards contracts for the 2011 season and beyond.

By waiting to see how nice NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell play in the sandbox together, McNabb and the Eagles are both taking a chance.

If McNabb can string together a couple quality seasons in ’09 and ’10, he maybe in line for another big payday down the line possibly with another team.

But conversely if McNabb gets hurt or plays poorly the Eagles will have increased his salary and they will be left with a high priced 34-year old quarterback along with unproven back-up Kevin Kolb.

Speaking of Kolb, the former second round pick from 2007 recently voiced his displeasure regarding the Eagles talking with McNabb about an extended deal and through the media he wonder if we would ever get his shot at the starting job.

Smartly, McNabb has let his agent (Fletcher Smith) and Eagles cap guru Joe Banner workout the contract details while the 11-year veteran prepares to pickup where he left off in the NFC Championship Game.

On paper, this off-season has been a good one for the Eagles as they have compiled a plethora of talent to make McNabb happy about his weapons.

The Eagles worked the draft (WR Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy, TE Cornelius Ingram and others), trades (CB Ellis Hobbs and OT Jason Peters), and free agency (FB Leonard Weaver, OL Stacy Andrews, and Safety Sean Jones) to make over an aging roster and it will be interesting to see how they fare in ’09.

With training camp in Bethlehem quickly approaching, the Birds appear to be on the short list of teams at the top of the NFC along with Cardinals and Giants.

I wonder what Kolb, veteran unhappy with his contract CB Sheldon Brown, and other dollar-hungry Birds think about McNabb’s opportunity to sit down with Eagles brass to talk “contract”.

But that is another topic for another day surely to be discussed further in training camp. So don’t turn the dial, as you know Philadelphia’s biggest lightning rod player will have more drama swirling around him as the Eagles enter training camp.