Too Early for the Minnesota Vikings and Donovan McNabb to Hook-Up
As a Vikes fan, at face value it's nice to hear that a great QB like the Eagles' Donovan McNabb would express privately that if traded, his first choice would be to reconnect with his old OC Brad Childress in Minnesota.
Unfortunately, it won't happen. Not this year.
For the Vikings, it would be like pursuing a serious relationship with your ex-wife while being married.
Reports of Brett Favre's demise are premature. Even if the chances of him returning for the final season of his two-year deal were low (they're not), that's still a chance that acquiring McNabb would force the Vikes to carry a backup QB making $11M. In addition to Favre's $13M this year.
That's a situation that only a fantasy football league GM would be okay with. Real football GMs, though, have to worry about their jobs.
Not to mention, more of a good thing isn't always better. Maybe Mike Lynn, the man who engineered the trade for Herschel Walker, had sufficient powers of persuasion to convince owner Zygi Wilf that two starting QBs are better than one. But adding McNabb would only guarantee that one of the QBs is going to be very unhappy. That's a lot of cash to be paying a disgruntled employee.
The seemingly obvious alternative is to ask Favre to provide a definitive answer as to whether or not he'll be playing this coming season.
But that's simply not how Favre is wired. Even if he did comply and gave an answer today, how sure could any sports fan be that that's his final answer? Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that it doesn't matter what Favre says at this time of year, especially if his answer was part of an emotion reaction to the team demanding an answer so they can trade for McNabb.
To go ahead and pull the trigger on McNabb if Favre did flippantly say, "I'm out, do what you want," would truly be selective hearing. Expensive, risky selective hearing. If you're wrong, see the paragraphs above about having both QBs on your roster.
The reality is, the team is in no position to demand a straight answer from Favre. Childress is smart enough to know, that kind of old school treatment just won't work on a guy like Favre. Chilly knew what he was getting last offseason when he flirted with all-time leader in passing TDs and yards, or at least he should have known.
When it comes to these matters, Favre marches to the beat of his own drummer. He's rich, old, and accomplished enough to presume he has that latitude. And let's face it, in today's world it's just smart to treat your best, strongest employees more as partners than as subordinates.
Even if you exclude Favre from the discussion, trading for McNabb wouldn't make much sense unless the Eagles were willing to take either Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels as part of the deal, and then were willing to lower the asking price significantly from a mid-second rounder.
With Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick already in hand, though, it's highly unlikely Andy Reid would put any value in either of the Vikes' backups. The whole reason Reid is willing to dip McNabb into the water as trade bait, is because he feels his hand is stacked with QBs.
Last, fans shouldn't put much stock into the rumors that McNabb is that interested in being a Vike. Most obviously, it's not a quote from the horse's mouth. McNabb is still getting paid by the Eagles and can't do that, but the point is, anyone could be making it up.
The agent has an incentive to spreading rumors just to stir the pot. He'd like nothing better than for someone to trade for McNabb, because any team making that kind of investment is not going to bring him in as a one year rental. A long-term deal puts more money in the agent's pocket.
The rumor mongering could also be the Eagles playing a game of cat and mouse with their old OC and NFC rival. Why not put manipulate some public pressure onto the Vikes to force Favre's hand? The Vikes are one of the teams to beat in the NFC, and it just happens that McNabb-Childress is a believable story.
Best case scenario, you catalyze a rift between head coach and QB. Any time you can distract your adversaries from the real tasks at hand, why not? Starting a rumor doesn't cost anything. Get Vike fans to do the dirty work for you. Divide and conquer.
In 11 months, when the contracts for both Favre and McNabb expire, the timing might be right for a McNabb-Childress reunion. But not now.
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