The Redskins signed quarterback Donovan McNabb to a contract that defers their decision on a $10 million option bonus until the day after the 2011 regular-season opener. In exchange for a $3.5 million signing bonus, the Redskins thus secured the exclusive ability to trade McNabb whenever they see it, and/or whenever the option may arise.
So why would the Redskins torpedo their trade leverage by sending McNabb to No. 3 on the depth chart with three games left in the 2010 regular season?
As one league source explained it, McNabb realizes that the team has the power to trade him whenever the Redskins see fit. And so the thinking is that he’s trying to force the issue by persuading the team either to trade him or to dump him sooner rather than later.
The source suggested that McNabb is “pulling a Haynesworth,” but that McNabb has been more subtle in his approach that the suspended defensive tackle.
The biggest unknown at this point is whether McNabb knew what the Redskins were doing when he signed the contract, or whether he subsequently figured it out and decided that he would not allow the team to squat on his rights until it’s too late to make a meaningful contribution on a new team in 2011.