It was only right for Donovan McNabb to retire as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. After spending 11 years of his 13-year career in Philly, he had to finish it where it all started. This is the best way for pro athletes to retire. Fans want to remember them in their glory days and McNabb’s were most certainly with the Eagles.
After not receiving an offer to play in 2012, McNabb realized what everybody else already had – it was time to call it a career. The magic that the quarterback once had, was clearly gone by the time he suited up for the Minnesota Vikings in 2011. He went 1-5 as the starter before being benched, and he never took the field again. By the end, McNabb was short-hopping throws on a regular basis and he just flat out looked over the hill.
It’s unfortunate the way his career ended. His runs in Washington and Minnesota were both huge flops and that’s the last thing some fans will remember about him. This is yet another reason why the symbolic one-day contract is a good thing for players like McNabb. Instead of an image of him standing on the sidelines at the Metrodome, fans can now remember these images from his retirement press conference.
To honor him, the Eagles will retire the No. 5 and enshrine McNabb into their own hall of fame. But that begs the real question – is Donovan McNabb an NFL hall-of-famer?
We all know that he thinks he is, but I’m not quite sold. There’s no denying that his run in Philly was absolutely tremendous. He went to five NFC championship games and made it to the Super Bowl once. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler and he’s 17th on the all-time career passing list (37,276). He has a pretty solid Canton resume top-to-bottom. However, I believe his true place in football history is in the hall of very good.
This less prestigious hall is reserved for players just like McNabb. When they were in their prime, they ranked up with the league’s best. But in their down years, they were flat out bad. The reality is that McNabb never really won anything big. His career achievement was making it to the SB. He never won an MVP and he only threw 30+ TD passes in a season once.
Donovan McNabb deserves respect because he was one of the best QBs of his generation. But ultimately his career is more about him being one of the best Eagles to ever play, not being one of the best players to ever step on the field.
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