QB McNabb will return
No. 5 will return to Philadelphia for a 12th season.
Eagles coach Andy Reid squelched speculation about Donovan McNabb's future, saying the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be back next season.
"That's my call," Reid said yesterday. "I think he's a great player. His work over the last 11 years has proven that. I truly believe it's a team sport; it's not one guy."
McNabb's status was questioned because he has one year left on his contract and he's failed to lead Philadelphia to a Super Bowl victory in 11 seasons. McNabb has led the Eagles to five NFC championship games — going 1-4 — and one Super Bowl appearance.
McNabb had one of his finest seasons, but struggled badly in consecutive losses to Dallas. The Cowboys beat the Eagles, 34-14, Saturday night in an NFC wild-card playoff game. In the regular-season finale, Dallas beat Philadelphia, 24-0.
After the loss, McNabb said he wanted to return to Philadelphia. He also said he's open to discussing a contract extension. The Eagles reworked the final two years of McNabb's deal last summer, giving him a $5.3 million raise. That would seem to make it unlikely they would extend his contract beyond 2010.
The Eagles also have Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick on the roster.
McNabb threw for 3,553 yards, 22 TDs and 10 interceptions in 14 games. His passer rating of 92.9 was the third-highest in his career.
CANDIDATE ADDED TO LIST
Add New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to the list of candidates in Buffalo's search for a new head coach.
The Bills have asked the Jets for permission to interview Schottenheimer, a person told The Associated Press yesterday.
It's unclear when the interview might take place, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not revealed their list of candidates to replace Dick Jauron, who was fired in November.
The son of former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, Brian Schottenheimer is in his fourth season as the Jets coordinator.
This season, he was credited for overseeing a run-oriented offense to allow the development of rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez, a first-round draft pick, helped New York to a 9-7 finish and a playoff berth.
MIAMI FIRES COORDINATOR
Miami coach Tony Sparano decided the defensive upgrades needed this offseason include a new coordinator.
The Dolphins yesterday announced the firing of defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, whose unit backslid in the second year of the Bill Parcells regime.
Miami ranked 22nd in yards allowed after finishing 15th a year earlier. One problem was big plays — the Dolphins gave up 14 scoring passes of 20 yards or more, second-highest in the NFL.
No replacement was named.
Law and order: Tampa Bay safety Jermaine Phillips has been charged with trying to choke his wife during an argument. According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office press release, Phillips was charged with domestic battery by strangulation. Authorities say Phillips' wife called 911 Sunday and said her husband had grabbed her around the neck. She said the couple argued after she confronted him about a number in his cell phone.
SARKISIAN STAYING AT UW
Steve Sarkisian appears perfectly content in the Pacific Northwest.
Despite rumors in Los Angeles that Sarkisian might be a potential successor to Pete Carroll at Southern California, the Washington coach says he has not heard from the Trojans.
In a text message to The Associated Press late Sunday night, Sarkisian said USC had not contacted him about their coaching vacancy that became official when Carroll accepted the head job with the Seattle Seahawks yesterday morning.
Last Friday, Sarkisian said he'd be surprised if Carroll made the jump to the NFL.
Sarkisian spent seven seasons there as an assistant and only 13 months ago left the Trojans to become the head man at Washington.
USF COACH STRIKES BACK
Former South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt wants his job back, insisting his dismissal for allegedly striking one of his players and then lying about the incident was unwarranted.
"The allegations were misreported. I said that from day one, and I don't care how long it takes, I'm in this for my life — my name, my reputation, my family," Leavitt said yesterday during a news conference at the office of his attorneys in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Leavitt was fired last week after a university investigation concluded he grabbed one his players by the throat, slapped the athlete in the face and then lied about what occurred during halftime of a game against Louisville on Nov. 21.
Georgia Tech: Atlantic Coast Conference champion Georgia Tech lost three more stars to the NFL yesterday. All-America defensive end Derrick Morgan, 1,300-yard rusher Jonathan Dwyer and hard-hitting safety Morgan Burnett held a joint campus news conference to announce they'll enter the draft with a year of college eligibility remaining. Junior receiver Demaryius Thomas said Friday he'll enter the draft.
Florida: Florida has two more underclassmen headed to the NFL. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap and center Maurkice Pouncey announced their intentions yesterday, joining cornerback Joe Haden and tight end Aaron Hernandez in leaving school early.
Alabama: Crimson Tide All-America linebacker Rolando McClain is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The projected first-round pick led Alabama with 105 tackles and 14.5 stops for losses in 2009.