It’s too bad. McNabb has had a terrific career, and his numbers are nearly worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. He’ll go down as one of the best of his generation, but it looks like he’ll disappear quietly after, perhaps, the toughest week of his NFL career.
The Vikings released McNabb per his request Thursday, but he was not claimed on waivers by Friday’s deadline, sending him into an unforgiving free agency abyss. Even two playoff contenders with major question marks at quarterback — the Bears and Texans — took a pass on McNabb in favor of Caleb Hanie and T.J. Yates, respectively, who have one combined start between them.
McNabb obviously still wants to play, and if a team calls for his services this month, he should take a stab at it. But at this point, it looks like his career has come to an uneventful conclusion. Because he has made it clear he doesn’t want to be a backup, it might be best for McNabb to simply retire and allow the NFL community to embrace his mark on the game over the final month of the regular season.
The second overall pick of the 1999 draft was a six-time Pro Bowler who is ranked 14th all-time in pass completions (3,170), 17th in passing yards (37,276) and 22nd in passing touchdowns (234). McNabb was also great on his feet, as his 3,459 rushing yards rank seventh all-time among quarterbacks, and his 29 rushing touchdowns are ranked 19th among quarterbacks.
McNabb was a winner, too, leading the Eagles to a 92-49-1 record during his 11 seasons as a starter, and they went to the playoffs eight times in his tenure. The Eagles went to four NFC Championships and one Super Bowl, and McNabb’s postseason record was 9-7 (he didn’t play in the 2006 playoffs due to injury).
It’s been a heck of a run for a guy who made a loud entrance into the NFL, getting booed mercilessly during the draft. But it seems like he’ll leave the game in much quieter fashion.
While it’s not the perfect way to go out, McNabb can hang his hat on his tremendous run.