The uncertainty regarding the real value of Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb continues. And with the initial report of $40 million in guaranteed money reported by ESPN and the follow-up report of $3.5 million in guaranteed money reported by ESPN, it’s fitting that McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, would tell ESPN 980 in D.C. that the report of only $3.5 million in guaranteed money is “erroneous.”
Meanwhile, ESPN seems to be attempting to harmonize the $36.5 million gap between its conflicting reports regarding the guaranteed money. As explained in the most recent item, written by Adam Schefter (who reported the $3.5 million guarantee), the contract is “worded so that it has ‘$40 million in guarantees,'” even though the Redskins may cut McNabb after the 2010 season, which would leave him with only $3.5 million in guaranteed money.
Schefter also concedes that the deal currently contains $25 million in injury guarantees, which would be paid to McNabb if he were to suffer a career-ending injury during the balance of the 2010 season.
The irony here is that Schefter engaged in no such hair splitting when first reporting that Jets tackle D’Brickshaw Ferguson received $34.8 million guaranteed, even though his deal had no money guaranteed for skill or injury at the time of signing, or when first reporting that Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall received $24 million guaranteed, even though he can be dumped after only one year with most of that money unpaid.
Then again, Schefter didn’t get the call from Fletcher Smith regarding the McNabb deal. Otherwise, it’s safe to assume that the initial report from Schefter would have been that McNabb had signed a five-year deal, with $40 million guaranteed.