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Banner on possibility of McNabb Deal

Donovan McNabb has nothing to say about his contract, but he picks the Lakers in 6 in the NBA Finals. Kobe will no doubt be relieved to hear this.


During the Eagles Youth Partnership's annual playground build, held at the Potter-Thomas School on North Sixth Street in West Kensington, Eagles president Joe Banner was asked about Sheldon Brown's contract situation in relation to Donovan McNabb's.

"I don't want to speak about individual situations, but we've been really clear there are situations that warrant being aggressive," Banner said. "We did it with Brian Westbrook. So we aren't sitting here with some sort of inflexible, absolute rule, that sign a contract, and you're toast. There are circumstances, and from our perspective, they have to be fairly extreme.

"You have a situation here where Donovan is five years into a seven-year contract, and obviously, not only the numbers, but the distance into a contract somebody is will affect our evaluation as whether something warrants being addressed."

There was more to what Banner said, which you can read in Thursday's Daily News. The upshot was, even though Banner took pains not to address what has been reported about McNabb's deal being reworked, he did not dismiss the possibility, or indicate that it was unlikely. The hunch here remains as it was earlier -- that the Eagles and McNabb will wrap up these talks with an agreement, sooner rather than later The practical effect will be to strengthen McNabb's standing for the next two seasons, but leave the door open for Kevin Kolb beyond that.

As we posited earlier, it seems likely the Birds will do something to boost McNabb's earnings over the final two years of his contract, even if an extension proves too complicated. It certainly seems unlikely they will be making any changes to Brown's deal, and the disgruntled cornerback is skipping the voluntary full-squad organized team activities.

There are obvious differences, starting with the fact that McNabb's contract is up in two years, vs. four for Brown. And the fact that McNabb has been the face of the franchise for a decade. Though Brown certainly has a case for getting his contract redone, the fact that the Eagles apparently are contemplating doing something for McNabb really doesn't affect Brown's situation, any more than last year's reworking of Brian Westbrook's contract did.

.Brown could not be reached for comment.


It took some persistent prodding from your Eagletarian, but Donovan McNabb broke his silence Wednesday.

His contract? Well, no, he didn't want to discuss that. But the Eagles' quarterback, a former Syracuse basketball player, was willing to make an NBA Finals prediction, after being reminded that he liked the Lakers against the Celtics last season, with the caveat that Pau Gasol needed to be much more stout than he'd been in the semis against San Antonio. The Celtics won, of course, and a lot of the blame for the upset settled on Gausol and his perceived softness.

This year, McNabb again likes the Lakers, with no caveat, in their matchup with underdog Orlando.

"Lakers in 6," he said. McNabb noted that Hedo Turkoglu plays much better on the road than at home, and he wondered if that had something to do with the fact that Turkoglu has an infant daughter. (Hard to ignore the obvious parallel there between McNabb's twins born last season and his midseason slump.) McNabb also said he didn't think Jameer Nelson would be "the answer" for the Magic, even if he is able to return from shoulder surgery. McNabb said Nelson has missed too much time to just start right up in the Finals at full speed.

McNabb forsees a more crucial role for LA's Jordan Farmar, as the Lakers look to match the Magic on the perimeter.

After an earlier than usual Wednesday workout, because this afternoon was the annual Eagles Youth Partnership playground build, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said "there's no question" about: the organization's commitment to McNabb, who is "right in the middle of an outstanding career. I think one day he'll be most likely elected to the Hall of Fame."

Mornhinweg indicated that McNabb "has some work to do" before the hall is a certainty, but said McNabb "has been and will play at a high level for quite some time."


Brian Westbrook again was absent from the workout. An Eagles spokesman said Westbrook was still getting his sore ankle evaluated. Marty Mornhinweg said he had no reason to believe there was cause for concern.