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McNabb reportedly demanding upgrades

2/23/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

When it comes to covering the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback Donovan McNabb is the gift that keeps on giving. It's been reported McNabb was waiting around Philly instead of returning to his offseason home in Scottsdale, Ariz., because he wanted to discuss a long-term contract extension with the Eagles.

He also wanted something akin to an apology from Reid and the rest of the organization for his November benching. Now, according to a report by ESPN's Michael Smith, McNabb met secretly with head coach Andy Reid and president Joe Banner last week at the NovaCare Complex to discuss both of those issues.

According to the report, both sides cleared the air on the benching and began informal discussions on an extension. But in a move that sounds a lot like posturing, McNabb now says he wants to wait and see whether the Eagles add some pieces on offense before he engages in serious contract negotiations. Smith reports that McNabb might even consider requesting a trade if the Eagles fail to significantly upgrade the roster.

We've heard McNabb ask for help in the past, but he hasn't hinted at a trade in the process. It's obvious he's feeling his oats after leading the Eagles to the NFC title game. But he should be careful not to overplay his hand. McNabb already has a strained relationship with the team's rabid fan base. Taking a wait-and-see approach on his commitment to the franchise won't help his cause.

The quarterback could also end up alienating himself from management. From my vantage point, this is simply a player attempting to create more leverage. The two sides will eventually knock out an agreement, but we could have an interesting offseason on our hands. The Eagles don't want to appear ungrateful for McNabb's late-season surge.

But they also don't want to be shown up by a grandstanding quarterback. So who leaked this story to ESPN? I'll let you be the judge of that.