When the Phildelphia Eagles drafted Donovan McNabb, the fans booed him. It was a love/hate relationship for much of his career. He went to numerous NFC Championship games in a row and even made a Super Bowl appearance with the team, but the fans always blamed him when the team lost. He finally got his wish and was traded, but he ended up on the Washington Redskins. The team had a new head coach, Mike Shanahan, and a lot of question marks going into this season. The team announced today that he will be benched for remainder of the season. It wasn’t always sunny in Philadelphia, but at least he was the starter. What’s next for McNabb?
The Washington Redskins have been a trainwreck since training camp started and Shanahan and Albert Haynesworth got into a pissing contest about fitness. Shanahan made Haynesworth do a fitness test and wouldn’t activate him until he passed. It took him far too many tries for someone who should be a top-tier defensive lineman to complete, but Shanahan was just trying to prove a point. It doesn’t matter how much you are getting paid or what you have done in the past, you must earn your spot on this team. This philosophy didn’t work with Haynesworth, he has had a poor season and finds himself inactive most weeks. Shanahan even bench McNabb in the final two minutes of a game earlier in the season for Rex Grossman. He stated that Grossman was better suited to run the two-minute offense. He later said that McNabb wasn’t in shape enough to run the two-minute offense. It didn’t sit well with McNabb and his season has been in a tailspin since.
McNabb is having his worst season since his rookie campaign. He has only thrown 14 touchdowns on the year and has thrown a career-high 15 interceptions and has fumbled seven times. He has never finished a season throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, but appears that his season is finished. He will be the back-up to Rex Grossman this week and then the remainder of the season, he will be the emergency quarterback behind John Beck.
The media made a large story about the Redskins signing McNabb to a five-year extension before the Philadelphia game. It was a large money deal, but barely any of that money was guaranteed. The contract was basically a deal would keep McNabb happy for the remainder of this year and would give Washington “first dibs” on signing him this off-season. In baseball terms, it’s as if he signed a one-year deal with a team option for the next few years. If McNabb stays with the team this off-season and going into next season, he’ll receive a $10 million dollar bonus. I would bet my house that he will not be in D.C. by the NFL Draft.
Where are some possibly locations for McNabb if Washington cuts him this off-season. The logical destination would be the Arizona Cardinals. Michael Wilbon reported last season that McNabb has a home there and the Cardinals need anyone who would be competent. Some other destinations, pending who the teams would draft in the upcoming NFL Draft would be Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, or San Francisco 49ers. He may have to bite the bullet and take a back-up role on a team. He can clearly still be competitive as a quarterback in the NFL, but he may need to get into better shape this off-season, since that has been in issue since his lone Super Bowl appearance. If McNabb needs motivation to get in better shape, let’s take a look at the quarterback that is taking his starting job away from him. Here’s a photo retrospective of Rex “Sex Cannon” Grossman.