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Redskins unlikely to release McNabb before ’11

by Derrick Johnson on November 17, 2010

When word of Donovan McNabb's 5-year $78 million contract extension with the Washington Redskins spread earlier this week, many pundits were surprised the team would offer the 34-year-old quarterback that much money. Although there is a clause that would allow ownership to cut McNabb before the start of next year and owe him no additional money, it is unlikely that they will do so, NFL.com reports.

While cutting McNabb would save the team a great deal of money over the next several years, insiders believe it would not behoove the team to release him. For one, they have no other reliable starting quarterbacks, and although he is getting older it would be more difficult to bring in a young quarterback and start from scratch. Additionally, they gave McNabb a 3.5 million signing bonus for the extension when they could have done nothing if they were not planning on keeping him.

The signing bonus pushes McNabb's salary this year to more than $14 million, yet is he having one of the worst seasons of his storied career. On Monday night he had a horrendous 3-interception performance during a 59-28 dismantling at the hands of his former team – the Philadelphia Eagles. McNabb has thrown just 9 touchdowns while tossing 11 interceptions, which are the worst numbers since his rookie season. Still, McNabb maintains that his commitment is to Washington, even with the opt out portion of his contract.

"That doesn't mean I won't be a Redskin," McNabb told the Associated Press. "I will be here next year. Not just next year, but after that as well."

The contract has surprised a lot of fans and analysts who feel that it seems like an exorbitant amount of money for a quarterback who may be declining. It even prompted former teammate Terrell Owens to take to Twitter during Monday night's game to say: "How do u justify a 78 million dollar contract w/ this type of performance?"

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