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Fan Mailbag: How Long Will McNabb Play?


Wondering about a player's status? Trying to recall a past game? Want some insight on the Redskins?'s Gary Fitzgerald opens up the mailbag on Tuesday and answers fan questions.

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Question: Surely the Redskins plan on signing Donovan McNabb to a long-term deal. How long will he be able to keep up his high level of play? Will it be anywhere near the level and length of Brett Favre?

-- Zack K.

Gary: If McNabb, 33, plays as long as Favre, who is 40, then Sunday's trade would turn out to be a great deal for the Redskins. Favre and Kurt Warner, who retired this offseason at the age of 38, are two examples of veteran quarterbacks who have excelled late in their careers. Head coach Mike Shanahan lauded McNabb this week for how he keeps himself in great physical shape, so it would not be surprising if he plays 3-5 more years. "How long does Donovan want to play? I think the way he handles himself and the way he's built, he can probably play as long as he wants to play," Shanahan said. "You've got to keep your fingers crossed. But is it five years? Is it six? Is it three? I can't tell you for sure, but here's a guy that loves to play the game, that takes care of himself. Hopefully he has the same passion in five years as he does right now."

Question: Do you think the Redskins could wrap up both tackle spots for years to come in one draft? Who do you think the Redskins could get?

-- Tarmel K.

Gary: Sure, this could be the route the Redskins go in the draft. It would be great to set the foundation for the offensive line for the next 10 years, similar to how bookend tackles Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels solidified the Redskins in the last decade. Holding the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, the Redskins could end up with the first offensive tackle off the draft board, projected by many to be Oklahoma's Russell Okung. If Okung is not available, other first-round options could be Oklahoma's Trent Williams, Maryland's Bruce Campbell, Rutgers' Anthony Davis and Iowa's Bryan Bulaga. As many as six offensive tackles could get drafted in the first round, so the drop-off from the first round to later rounds could be significant. Keep an eye on Iowa's Kyle Calloway, regarded as a prototypical right tackle, in the mid-rounds.

Question: Do the Redskins hold tryouts for walk-ons?

-- Artis W.

Gary: This question turns up every offseason. The Redskins do not hold open tryouts. Instead, it's by invitation only. And an invitation happens only after scouts have reviewed videotape of a prospect playing organized football at a high level, such as college or the CFL. Every once in a while you hear about an undrafted prospect making an NFL team after disseminating a highlights video to pro scouts. That could be a good option of garnering attention--and getting a tryout.

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