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$115-Million, 12-Year Contract for McNabb

September 28, 2002|From Associated Press

Donovan McNabb can spend the rest of his NFL career in a city that has fans who originally didn't want him.

McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a new 12-year contract Friday that could be worth up to a record $115 million.

The total potential value would be the highest in NFL history, topping the 10-year, $103 million contract Drew Bledsoe signed with the New England Patriots in March 2001.

McNabb's deal runs through 2013, and includes a $20.5 million signing bonus, said his agent, Fletcher Smith. McNabb will receive $13.5 million of that bonus up front and the rest after next season. Including the bonus, he'll get $30 million over the next three years, leaving $9.5 million in base salary over that span.

"It means a lot," McNabb said. "You see great players, Hall of Fame players that didn't stay with their team. To know that I'll be pretty much locked in to the Philly area is a wonderful feeling for me, my family, where I can continue to get better and better and know that I'll be wearing the wonderful green."

McNabb didn't get a positive welcome to Philadelphia when the Eagles selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft. He was booed loudly by a group of Eagles fans who wanted the team to select running back Ricky Williams.

But McNabb quickly won them over with his strong arm and exceptional scrambling ability.

The Eagles can void the new contract at any time. McNabb can opt out of the final three seasons by reaching certain performance incentives.

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Hall of Fame center Mike Webster was remembered at his funeral service in Pittsburgh as a loving man who treated his friends, teammates and total strangers as if they were family members.

Quarterback Terry Bradshaw and several other former Steelers, including Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, and former coach Chuck Noll were among more than 200 people at the 80-minute service, nearly half of whom stood in the modest funeral home where Webster was to be cremated.

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Denver Bronco quarterback Brian Griese returned to practice Friday after being injured when he tripped over his dog two days earlier. Griese didn't practice on Thursday, but split time with backup Steve Beuerlein, working with the first team in practice Friday. Griese is listed as probable for Denver's game Monday against Baltimore.

"He looked pretty good," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "It didn't look like there was much soreness there, so hopefully there'll be no setback tomorrow and he'll be ready to go." Shanahan said Griese will likely split time with Beuerlein in practice today.

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The Carolina Panthers released kicker Jon Hilbert and signed Shayne Graham to a one-year contract to replace him. Hilbert, who signed after John Kasay underwent hernia surgery a week ago and went on injured reserve, missed kicks of 39 and 45 yards in Sunday's 21-14 win against Minnesota.... Tampa Bay guard Kerry Jenkins practiced Friday despite a cracked bone in his left leg and was upgraded from doubtful to probable for Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

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