The Eagles announced that the much-anticipated restructuring of the final two seasons of quarterback Donovan McNabb's contract is complete. McNabb and Eagles coach Andy Reid will meet with reporters Friday at 10 a.m. at NovaCare.
"Donovan has played a large part of this team's success over the last 10 years," Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said in a release annonuncing the news, at 10:25 p.m.. "He has been a professional in every sense of the word."
"We are thrilled that this all worked out," said Eagles president Joe Banner. "He is a great football player, a great person, and someone who gives back to the community. We are lucky to have him in Philadelphia."
"The Philadelphia Eagles organization and the entire city of Philadelphia are fortunate to have a quarterback the caliber of Donovan McNabb," said Reid. "He has proven himself to be a talented player on the field, a caring member of the Philadelphia community, and a winner."
Entering his 11th season as an Eagle, McNabb is the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards (29,320), touchdown passes (194), attempts (4,303), and completions (2,534). He has led the Eagles to more regular season victories (82), and playoff appearances (7) than any other quarterback in team history.
The Eagles announced the signing of fifth-round rookie tight end Cornelius Ingram Thursday, and made three roster moves to create space. Veteran defensive tackle Amon Gordon, who tore his Achilles' tendon, was waived/injured. Former Temple quarterback Adam DiMichele and former Illinois State running back Walker Mendenhall, both undrafted rookies, were waived. The Eagles still have to sign first-round rookie wideout Jeremy Maclin and second-round rookie running back LeSean McCoy.
Andy Reid wrapped up the Eagles' OTAs with an afternoon news conference Thursday. Among the topics he addressed was the status of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, who is taking a leave of absence while being treated for metastasized melanoma.
"Some days are good days, and some days are not-so-good days," Reid said. "He's receiving pretty intense chemotherapy. There are just some days that stuff gets you, and there are other days that he feels pretty good. I have a chance to talk to him about every day. He's a battler."
When asked about important accomplishments from the workouts, with the team next scheduled to gather July 26 at Lehigh, Reid first mentioned practice reps for the rookies and new veterans. Then he mentioned "the opportunity for Sean to get in and work with the defense." Secondary coach Sean McDermott is filling in during Johnson's leave.
"If that's how it is in the fall, then at least he's had a little bit of exposure to it," Reid said, voicing for the first time the possibility that McDermott will be running the defense this season. "If Jim comes back, I think Sean's even better for (the experience)."
Reid said McDermott "had a great teacher" in Johnson, 68, who has run the Birds' defense since Reid arrived in 1999. "He had the best in the business teaching him."
Johnson ranked second recently in ESPN.com columnist Johns Clayton's assessment of the league's top 5 defensive coordinators. Two of his former assistants, San Diego's Ron Rivera (fourth) and Minnesota's Leslie Frazier, also made the list.
Tonight, Donovan McNabb is among the Father of the Year honorees at the American Diabetes Association's gathering at the Loew's hotel in Center City. Sources close to the situation have said the Eagles and McNabb are close to agreeing to a reworking of the final two years of his contract.
Just thinking out loud here, with agent Fletcher Smith flying in Thursday for the award dinner, and McNabb presumably headed back out to Arizona pretty soon, now that OTAs are over, wouldn't today be an ideal time to announce such a thing? That is, aside from the old PR maxim about not wasting good news on a Friday/weekend news cycle. As team president Joe Banner recently noted, the Eagles always seem to go against the grain on that one.