Donovan McNabb Wants To Return: Analyzing His Top Potential Suitors
Donovan McNabb appeared on a radio station in Chicago on Friday, and said he is working out in the hopes of latching on with an NFL team. He clearly has no plans to retire even though he will be 36 in November, but the main question would be if any team would be interested in signing him.
Over the past three seasons, McNabb has shown serious signs of decline that came to a head in 2011 with the Minnesota Vikings, as he appeared out of shape and routinely was inaccurate with his passes. It is noteworthy that three teams – the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins as well as the Vikings – have decided to move on from McNabb over the past three years.
McNabb cited he has “unfinished business”, wants another opportunity, and is looking forward to his first time as a free agent, but it should go without saying he will not step right into a starting job.
So, who are some teams that may be interested in signing McNabb? We can already eliminate the Redskins, Vikings and Eagles and presumably any team that got an up close look at his poor play over the last couple years. That likely eliminates the rest of the NFC East and NFC North, including his hometown Chicago Bears, who have added Jason Campbell as Jay Cutler’s backup this off-season.
Let’s take a closer look at who could be interested in bringing McNabb aboard this summer:
The Colts do not have a noteworthy veteran mentor for Andrew Luck in place right now, so they could have at least a passing interest. But reports that McNabb was not incredibly involved off the field after being benched last season by the Vikings seem to suggest he is not interested in mentoring a young quarterback. He would have to leave his ego aside and be willing to hold a clipboard if Luck stays healthy, but the Colts may at least be willing to have him in for a workout.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs may still be looking to add competition for Matt Cassel, even after signing Brady Quinn this off-season, and McNabb may fit the bill. Kansas City’s offensive scheme may be a good fit for McNabb, and new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s system could be similar to what the Philadelphia Eagles had during his prime. Assuming general manager Scott Pioli has any interest, the potential to compete for the starting job will appeal to McNabb.
Buffalo may also be looking to add a veteran to their quarterback mix, as Tyler Thigpen is currently in place as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup. Fitzpatrick has struggled late in the season for each of the last two seasons, so he still has a lot to prove and the Bills may not be entirely sold on him as their quarterback of the future. At the very least, McNabb would provide a proven player to possibly compete with Fitzpatrick and head coach Chan Gailey may like to have a proven player around to push the Harvard grad.
Interest in McNabb will not be extensive around the league, as many teams at least have a plan in place under center at this point. It is notable that two well-respected offensive coaches (Andy Reid, Mike Shanahan) have deemed him to at minimum not be the player he once was over the last couple years and he has shown his skills are in decline. McNabb will most certainly have to be willing to compete for a job, and his willingness to be a backup may widen his opportunities a little.