With NBA Free agency ongoing, it is probably fair to say people haven’t heard much news from the other respective sporting leagues.
About a week ago, in the NFL, QB Donovan McNabb announced there is an 80-90 percent chance he’ll play this season.
With the Washington Redskins in 2010, McNabb and Coach Mike Shanahan did not see eye-to-eye. This led to him being benched twice. His performance was below average throughout the season. He threw for 14 TD and 15 Int.
The next season, McNabb found himself traded to the Minnesota Vikings. In only six games, McNabb threw for 60.3 percent – which is slightly better than his career completion percentage – but only four touchdowns.
It seemed as if McNabb approached last season as trying to manage the game. He just didn’t want to overdo it and make a mistake. His numbers were lackluster, but he actually didn’t play as bad as it seems.
The real knock against him shouldn’t be his numbers, but his record over the last two years. McNabb is 6-13 in his last two years as a starter. The Redskins and Vikings aren’t really good football teams to begin with, but as a quarterback, they are suppose to be the main cog for a team achieving improved success – something he clearly didn’t do.
With that cloud above his shoulders, does his announcement really matter?
He’s saying how he has three unnamed teams in mind; those teams have to have a solid run game, weapons, and a defense. Long story short, a team that’s Super Bowl caliber.
So based off his description from what he desires from a team, what are his chances?
Well, the three teams that come to mind are the 49ers, Bears, and Texans.
49ers: This team had the best defense last season; there is no question about that. Going into this year, there is no reason to expect any different. The Niners run game will consist of the hard-pounding Frank Gore with a Darren Sproles type back in LaMichael James. And as for weapons, there is Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, etc. However, they have two-year pro Colin Kaepernick, who the Niners believe in, as the back-up. The next behind him is believed to be Scott Tolzien. The Niners wouldn’t be a good fit as McNabb would be the third string QB, more than likely. Keep in mind, McNabb wants a solid chance of actually getting on the field.
Bears: The Monsters of Midway have always been known to have stout defenses year in, year out. The Bears also love running the ball, as they were successful with Matt Forte last year. Even with Forte, the Bears signed Michael Bush, a proven running back from his days in Oakland. Weapons used to be the main concern, but not anymore. The Bears acquired perennial pro bowler Brandon Marshall, as well as drafting 6’4” receiver Alshon Jeffery out of South Carolina. With the Bears bringing Jason Campbell on board, he’ll only be a third stringer here, also.
Texans: With Wade Phillips, the Texans were statistically a top five defense across the board. But with Mario Williams gone, that could change a little. Houston has Arian Foster, so that should tell him about their run game. As for weapons, there is really only Andre Johnson. Owen Daniels is a solid second option, though. And as for the QB depth chart, T.J. Yates is the backup, and he helped get the Texans to the postseason as Matt Schaub was injured. There is John Beck and rookie QB Case Keenum, and it should be presumed that McNabb can land higher than them on the depth chart. Once again, we’re looking at third string.
Nonetheless, while these destinations are a far-cry for McNabb, if he were to have any shot, it would have to be with San Francisco. As once mentioned, while the 49ers have high hopes for Kaepernick, this is only his second season.
If something were to happen to Alex Smith, McNabb could step in and not be required to be the playmaker of his former self. He could be the manage-the-game type of QB he was in Minnesota. The only difference is that if he doesn’t score for them, the defense will hold up.
Teams won’t take a chance on McNabb because while he’s a man of character, his work ethnic has always been of question. He has had constant weight issues, but it has been said McNabb lost 20 pounds prepping for a comeback. It was said on NFL Live, by one analyst, that he’s not a student of the game. He just relies on his abilities to carry him, which worked for 11 seasons; but at a time when he needs at job, those abilities he had have declined.
There’s no question he’ll return, but instead of announcing the chances of him returning, he should be wondering about the chances of a team signing him. Maybe his second career (broadcasting) is down the road sooner than he thinks.
Follow Lamar on Twitter @midwaylc