Donovan McNabb's contract-the real skinny

I was watching a popular sports talk radio show in which JI Haslell is a frequent guest. For those who don't know, Haslel  was formerly was one of the salary cap managers for the Redskins, he now does salary Analysis for football outsiders.

Here's what he had to say about McNabb deal (after the jump, ha ha).

There are some screwy contract rules in this uncapped year, and so there are some pretty screwy contracts being written. Add to this, the very screwy situation we have here in Washington between the Redskins and McNabb, and you end up with a very interesting contract. Here are the screwy parts-

When Donovan McNabb signed his contract on Monday, he was given a check for 3 1/2 million dollars right then and there. Followers of the Redskins theorize that this was some kind of apology for the benching (apparently the same thing happened in Philadelphia).

if Donovan McNabb is on the roster on opening day of 2011, he receives a roster bonus of $10 million. His salary without any incentives will be $3 million for 2011. This is kind of weird because it favors the Redskins so blatantly. With this deal, McNabb has no leverage whatsoever and Shanahan holds all the cards (told you he was a control freak). For example, we can keep McNabb all the way up to opening day as insurance and if we find another quarterback that we'd rather have, as long as we cut him before opening day, we owe him nothing. If we do not cut him, it really ends up equal to putting a franchise tag on him because the projected franchise tag for quarterbacks is around $16 million.(3.5+10+3  equals 16.5)

According to Haslell, unless the contract is restructured at the end of 2011, he doesn't really see any way that McNabb will be a member of the Redskins for the 2012 season; this is because the contract accelerates so quickly after 2011, that it would be way too much to be spending for a 36-year-old quarterback (even the Redskins). Unfortunately, I don't remember the real numbers for 2012, but Haslell's source within the Redskins (which he named, but I can't remember for sure-I think it was Fletcher?) Also confirmed that the contract would have to be renegotiated at that time.

so it appears now, that unless things change a bit, that McNabb will end up being a two year rental at best.  we certainly have not locked him up for the next five years. (Unless we're willing to pay through the nose)


Now here comes the really screwy part. Prior to this year, guaranteed money was guaranteed both on the talent and injury sides of the equation. In other words, Albert Haynesworth's 40 million guaranteed was coming to him no matter what-retirement, career ending injury, traded, or being cut. For some reason that escapes me for this one year of 2010, it is against NFL rules to guarantee both sides of the contract (talent/injury) with the same money. We all heard Donovan McNabb's agent come out and trumpet that he had gotten McNabb 40 million guaranteed. Well that's actually true; McNabb got 3 1/2 million on Monday, and if he suffers a career ending injury before he is cut, he will receive $35 million from the Redskins. And before you say “but isn't that insured?”-no, that's guaranteed money that comes from the Redskins. If Donovan has an insurance policy on himself, he gets that also. I do think though that it is possible for the Redskins to insure themselves against this possibility. But I do know that in some states this scenario is illegal unless the beneficiary of that insurance is the employee or their beneficiaries.


So what jumps out at me almost immediately is this; with the way our offensive line is playing, and the murderer's row of defensive ends still on our schedule, Donovan McNabb's agent might be right-he might be collecting a $35 million check by the end of the season.

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