Every year, somewhere between four and seven former NFL players become enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. These individuals have all left their mark that will be remembered forever. There are some who excelled, but face questions as to whether they contributed enough. In the years to come, one quarterback will most likely be the subject of such debate.
Donovan McNabb, of course, was drafted by head coach Andy Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles No. 1 overall in 1999. Many know that he faced boos from Eagles fans who preferred running back Ricky Williams. This team had faced difficulty and needed a franchise signal caller. Despite poor outlook from team supporters, he kept high spirits. Over 11 seasons, McNabb proceeded to guide his team to an unprecedented stretch of success. During this time, he was perhaps one of football’s top-five signal callers.
Philadelphia reached five NFC Championship Games over that period. Detractors will say he only won one of these games. Perhaps they forget that much of his time was spent throwing to receivers like Todd Pinkston, James Thrash and Freddie Mitchell. Terrell Owens’ arrival in 2004 allowed Philly to break through and reach their second Super Bowl. Ultimately, Tom Brady’s New England Patriots denied them a championship. Of course, Owens came undone and got shipped out pretty quickly. Even so, the Eagles remained competitive for years to come. Certain people want to remember McNabb for getting sick on the sideline during Super Bowl XXXIX or not being aware of NFL tie-game procedures. Statistically, though, there are compelling numbers that strengthen this argument.
McNabb currently ranks 22nd all-time in touchdown passes, 17th in yards and 25th in passer rating. This six-time Pro Bowl selection retired officially this year. Two unsuccessful years with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings respectfully should not be held against him. These teams were short of talent. He becomes Hall of Fame eligible in 2017 and has accomplished enough to justify such distinction.