Much to Bud Selig’s dismay
, yesterday, the Washington Redskins took a really old-looking Donovan McNabb and paraded him before their belabored fanbase (Anybody else notice the moustache and receding hairline? Maybe Shanahan and Bruce Allen should have insisted upon a face-to-face before they pulled the trigger on a trade for a guy who Deadspin referred to as ”Carl Winslow”
). Fans were excited
duped enough to play “arts and crafts”
with old Heath Shuler jerseys, Joe Theismann took NFL Analyst Hyperbole
to new levels, and the team found itself back where it usually is this time of year: spending wildly on older players who have seen better days. Shocker. Anyway, the Redskins made a big deal about it. Donovan talked a lot like a scorned ex-boyfriend. Here’s the Redskin fantasy
. Below that is the reality.
It might be simpler, but it would also be dumber. At age 33, McNabb has had a much better career than Elway had at the same age. But sorry, that’s where happy time ends.
The six-time Pro Bowl star was formally introduced Tuesday at Redskins Park. All things being equal, he would rather be preparing for a 12th season with the Philadelphia Eagles
, but an Easter Sunday trade between NFC East rivals has opened what he called “a new chapter in the book of Donovan.”
That’s what you always want to hear when you give up two high draft picks and roughly $17M for a player: “Hey, I’d rather be somewhere else, but I guess this is ok. So where’s that Ben’s Chili Bowl place that I keep hearing about?”
“I’ve always believed in finishing where you started,” McNabb said. “I think there’s a lot to be said with that. Not a lot of quarterbacks in this league are able to do that these days. Sometimes change is better. Sometimes you’re forced into change. I would have loved to [stay in Philadelphia], but it didn’t happen.”
You’re still talking about Philadelphia? You were “forced” to come to DC? Man, could you at least wait until “The Danny
” leaves the press conference? Do you think Tom Cruise would have said this about the Weinsteins
after Snyder bought New Line
Instead, he is with the Redskins and new coach Mike Shanahan, and both went to great lengths to say that trading two draft picks for a 33-year-old quarterback with a few nicks is a solid investment.
A “few nicks?” ”Dunn-a-vin” has played one full season since 2004. Let’s also take a look at the math real quick: $17M for one year of a 33-year-old QB who has trouble staying healthy. In turn, they give up one 2nd round pick who would probably start for 3-4 seasons at maybe $1.5-2.5M per year, tops. If McNabb makes the Pro Bowl, which shouldn’t be too hard (he made it last year), the other traded pick becomes a 3rd round pick, which is another 3-4 years of a starter/backup at an even lower salary. So, $17M and 6-8 cost-controlled years of potentially two-starters for a “small upgrade
” at quarterback. I’m not impressed.
“I’m turning 34 this year,” McNabb said. “And [Shanahan] finished John’s career with two Super Bowls. Hopefully I can continue to follow behind that… People were saying John Elway should retire,” Shanahan said, “until he won the Super Bowl.”
Before the pursuit of such lofty goals, there were the necessary reflections and thank yous from McNabb to Philadelphia. Most of his words for his former team and city were upbeat and gracious — “I felt I was treated fair” — with maybe a slight dig or two thrown in. Surprisingly, McNabb said he has spoken “not much” about the trade with Andy Reid, his coach for his entire tenure with the Eagles. He portrayed himself as fallout from a Philadelphia youth movement.
“They’re [Philadelphia] rebuilding, and they’re going young,” McNabb said. “So I never knew 33 years old was old, but I guess I’m too old.”
And, while Shanahan’s offense will have its similarities to Reid’s, McNabb cited what he thinks will be one substantial difference. “It starts with the run game,” McNabb said. “I know probably a lot of you come from Philly don’t know much about that run game. But we will run the ball here.”
Oh, will you? With who? Larry Johnson? Willie Parker? Clinton Portis? 2009 combined: 1,445 yards and 1 touchdown. Combined. Not exactly Terrell Davis… And who will be blocking for them? The guy who once ate himself out of the league or the dude from the Under Siege movies?
“We had two young guys on the outside, a very effective tight end, a young running back, [Brian] Westbrook was coming off an injury, the offensive line was trying to jell, we were mixing guys in, and some guys were hurt,” McNabb said. “But they moved in another direction. There’s nothing I can do on that particular point.” McNabb said he expects “hopefully cheers” when he returns to Philadelphia with the Redskins next season, yet he refused to portray it a special date on his mental calendar… His agent, Fletcher Smith, said he and McNabb didn’t end up having to object to an undesirable destination. “He and Andy have a special relationship, and he did right by Donovan at the end of the day,” Smith said. “There wasn’t a time when we had to tell a team we weren’t going to come.”
…”we”… “special relationship”… still not talking about the Redskins…
The next priority is a contract extension for McNabb, whose current deal expires at the end of the upcoming season.
You damn right it is. You don’t find nicked-up soon-to-be 34-year-old QBs just anywhere! And lest you forget, this is still Danny’s team. Nobody’s better at putting together overpaid 7-9 squads that their fans hate to watch. Which, he will subsequently pay some other over-the-hill guy more millions to come in and tear apart.
Another bit of housekeeping for McNabb was a talk with his good friend Jason Campbell, the Redskins’ starter for the last 3½ seasons. Shanahan said the Redskins have given Campbell permission to explore a trade up to the April 22-24 draft.
How honorable. By the way, Campbell had a completion percentage of 64.5% last year; McNabb was at 60%. Campbell also played a full season. He stands to make just over $3M this year and is five years younger.
“It feels like being drafted again,” McNabb said. “You been selected by a new team. You’re going through all the emotions of learning new plays, being with the guys, working out, so it feels like I’m about 22 again.” He laughed and added: “The body may not respond that way.”
Any more good news, big guy?
He’s definitely not in Philly anymore.
Yeah, pretty sure we got that.