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News » McNabb: "I want to be in Philly"

McNabb: "I want to be in Philly"

TAMPA, Fla. - Donovan McNabb first raised the subject after the Eagles beat the Arizona Cardinals on Thanksgiving night.

The quarterback, benched four days earlier during a lopsided loss against Baltimore, said during the NFL Network postgame show that he had some things he wanted to discuss with coach Andy Reid and team president Joe Banner. When asked the following week what he wanted to talk about, McNabb said those discussions would take place after the season.

Well, it's the off-season, and we know how interesting these things can be for the Eagles' quarterback.

McNabb has already been to Washington for the inauguration of President Obama, and he has spent the last three days down here working on ESPN SportsCenter . He made a tour on Radio Row yesterday as part of a Novartis Pharmaceuticals promotion to alert the public about the dangers of high blood pressure.

During a discussion with Philadelphia-area reporters, McNabb addressed a number of issues, but he knew the conversation would eventually turn to his desire to speak with Reid and Banner. Asked if he wanted a meeting to discuss a new contract, he couldn't have been any blunter.

"Everyone knows that," McNabb said. "You guys know it, and you've talked about it. We'll just leave it behind closed doors."

McNabb, who is signed through 2010, is scheduled to make $9.2 million next season and $10 million in the final year of his deal. Fletcher Smith, the agent for McNabb, said he has not yet broached the subject with the Eagles.

"We've not set a date at this point," Smith said. "I know Don put it out there. I know he wants a chance to sit down and talk about this past season and to look ahead to next season. But when we're going to talk, I don't know."

Exactly what kind of deal, if any, the Eagles would be willing to work with McNabb isn't known. Reid and Banner have both made it clear that they want the quarterback to return in 2009, but it's not as certain that the team would be willing to rework his current contract. It probably depends on the demands.

The Eagles certainly set a precedent when they reworked running back Brian Westbrook's contract in August. McNabb said he wants a new deal for more reasons than money.

"The contract deals with a lot of different things, and I'll kind of leave it at that," McNabb said. "I want things to get taken care of, and then I won't have to answer whether I'll be back the next year. I've had to answer 20 weeks this year about coming back and last year as well. It's tiresome, but I'd rather have people asking me every year than be somewhere else. I want to be in Philly."

Deion Sanders, the former NFL cornerback working for the NFL Network, has said repeatedly that he believes McNabb wants out of Philadelphia, but the Eagles' quarterback strongly shot down that notion.

"Deion is a great guy, but Deion is not speaking for me," McNabb said. "I want to retire as an Eagle. I remember my rookie year or my second year, and I was talking to Mayor Street, and I said that I wanted to bring a Super Bowl back to Philadelphia. I want to go down Broad Street with the parade. The Phillies did it first, and I'm happy that they did. But for myself and Brian Dawkins, it's something we have talked about for years, and it's something we look forward to bringing it back next year."

Another off-season subject that is almost always raised with McNabb is whether or not the Eagles have enough weapons to make a parade down Broad Street a reality.

"We need more weapons on both sides of the ball and all phases of the game," McNabb said with somewhat less conviction than he has in the past. "Here we go again."

What phases?

"All phases," he said.

Asked to play GM, McNabb said he'd get a new deal and there wouldn't be questions.

Turning serious, he said a healthier offense could provide the Eagles with more weapons.

"That played a big part in it," he said. "We had Kevin [Curtis] hurt. We had Reggie [Brown] hurt, and we were rotating different guys in. [Brian] Westbrook being hurt, and then we go through the depression with Shawn Andrews, and we have Max [Jean-Gilles] get hurt. If we are healthy, good things can happen."

As for McNabb's trip to Washington, he didn't get the celebrity treatment for President Obama's historic day.

"I was far back," he said. "We had a pretty big group with us. We waited outside for two or three hours before they opened the gates, so it was pretty chilly. Once we thought the line wasn't moving as fast as we thought it would, we ended up going back to the hotel, where it was a little warmer, and we could see everything. We were out there at 7 in the morning until the gates opened at 10, and we just couldn't get where we needed to be. We went back and watched it inside."

McNabb still liked the view.

"Anything is possible," he said. "For all of us who are grown up and say, 'I want to be a doctor, I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a professional player, I want to be president,' now that's all a reality. Before, when you'd say, 'I want to be president,' people would look at you different. Now you have a guy who is African American, and he's also very intelligent and looks to make change."

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 31, 2009

Jerome McDougle Name: Jerome McDougle
Position: DE
Age: 29
Experience: 5 years
College: Miami (FL)
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