For a guy who was supposedly out of shape and didn't know the playbook, Donovan McNabb sure did well for himself Monday.
The news that McNabb and the Washington Redskins had agreed on a five-year extension, one that includes $40 million in guaranteed money and could be worth as much as $88 million, had to come as something of an unexpected surprise – perhaps most of all to McNabb's coach, Mike Shanahan.
McNabb's current deal was schedule to expire at the end of this season. Now he could be the Redskins' quarterback until 2015. The deal includes $10 million in incentives and averages $15.5 million per season.
Is this the same guy who was benched two weeks ago by Shanahan? The same guy whose work ethic was called into question and whose knowledge of the playbook was so limited that it had to be trimmed back to make it easier for him to comprehend? The same guy whose 76.0 passer rating ranks 28th in the league? Sure is.
But that's what happens when you play for owner Daniel Snyder, who is sometimes generous (or inept, depending on whom you talk to) beyond belief with his money.
McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, told the Washington Post's Jason Reid: "We're very happy about the situation. We've been working on this for a while now, and we're obviously glad to get it done. Donovan's very happy about the situation because this is where he wanted to be all along.
"From the first day we spoke, I told you this is what Donovan wanted: to have a long career in Washington and end his career here. That never changed. And the fact that we could get this done tonight, with the Redskins playing the Eagles on Monday night and everything that goes with that, I couldn't have written a better script."
What's uncertain is whether Shanahan agrees. He benched McNabb for the Redskins' final two possessions in a 12-point loss to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 31, saying that backup Rex Grossman was more comfortable with the team's two-minute offense. McNabb brushed off any suggestion that he couldn't handle the offense or the playbook.
With a new contract in hand, it's unlikely Shanahan would pull McNabb again. At the very least, we'd like to see him try.