So it's been a pretty exciting Monday for Redskins fans, with a large extension being announced for McNabb (MNF having not been played at the time of writing this). I had two initial reactions after hearing about the details: 1) That's a lot of money; 2) Good time to release the information.
The first thought comes rather obviously after seeing $88 million on a paycheck. Donovan's worthiness of such a salary is an endless debate and can be argued between BGN and HH fanboys in the comment section. My opinion is that the Redskins front office has shown clever contract construction over the Snyd-era and intelligent negotiations over the Sh-Allen-ahanera (I tried), so they'll make it work. Regardless of opinion, it's not the importance of the deal.
The second thought is also pretty obvious to anyone likely reading this now. Media speculation has been salivating at the thought that Shanahan and McNabb are having pissing contests on the sidelines (Florio's wet dream). To save possible lockerroom fallout on a big monday night divisional showdown, they sign a contract that has been negotiated over several months (Apologies: PFT link). We'll see how the possible timing plays out in a few hours, but their intentions are clear.
A delayed third thought is more important though: This means Shanahan has faith in Donovan McNabb. Shanahan commits his life to football and preparing schemes to suit the strengths of his players (Read his book). 90 to 100 hours a week. The signing of a 5 year extension (as oppose to a shorter extension or none at all) shows Shanahan's confidence in McNabb's abilities. Abilities that could feel familiar to back in Denver, and that he will definitely work relentlessly to maximize over the next few years. A source of mine tells me that the recent work out of Jamarcus Russell was to see if he would fit well into a similar scheme as the one Shanahan is building around McNabb.
The benching last week further shows the strength of their relationship. On the previous play, McNabb threw an interception into triple coverage. This is the absolute last thing to do with 4 minutes left when you're up by 5. Shanahan knows it, McNabb knows it. So Shanahan tells him to 'smarten the f**k up' with a metaphorical slap on the nose (In this metaphor I'm hitting my dog, not my girlfriend). An alpha male like Donovan takes a benching to heart and will hopefully learn it (then we can move on to catching a frisbee in his mouth).
Coles Notes: If you buy into the Shana-plan (which you should if you've read this far), this contract extension should be giving you an extra shot in your kool-aid for tonight, and the next few years.