Write It Down: Donovan McNabb Will Be a Minnesota Viking in 2011
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Randy Moss. Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin. Bernard Berrian. Visanthe Shiancoe. Adrian Peterson. One of the best offensive lines in football. An elite defense.
What quarterback would not want to play here? Let's examine Player A.
Player A has been to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl, but no Vince Lombardi Trophy. Player A is on a decent team with aging skill position players and a shaky offensive line. Player A's former offensive coordinator now coaches the team described above.
Where do you think Player A would go?
Donovan McNabb, for those who are slow on the uptake, is Player A. After being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, he has had some success with the Washington Redskins, helping them to a 3-2 record. While he is not as mobile as he once was, he still has a cannon arm, the ability to buy time in the pocket, and streaky accuracy. His touch on deep balls is among the best.
However, at age 34, McNabb's days in the NFL ("Not For Long") are numbered. While he has had a strong career featuring tons of wins, touchdowns and Pro Bowl appearances, he is still looking for a championship, that elusive cherry on top. No one will ever question his legacy if he is able to accomplish that.
Where would be the best place to go then? Are there any loyalty issues with the Washington Redskins? I think we can all agree that this is not a LeBron James case. McNabb was traded to the Redskins this year. It's not like he's crippling the franchise by leaving either.
Rather, the best fit for McNabb would seem to be a place that is just a quarterback away from being a serious contender.
Enter the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. These three teams seem to be the biggest potential players for McNabb this year in the free-agent market.
Arizona has some holes, but Larry Fitzgerald and the close proximity to his home make this an attractive target for McNabb. And Derek Anderson is...well let's just say the Cardinals would love to have McNabb on board. However, I doubt he would be guaranteed a Super Bowl victory. The NFC West is weak and he could put up some big-time numbers with Steve Breaston and Larry Fitzgerald, but I don't think McNabb will go there.
Then there's the San Francisco 49ers. The Alex Smith experiment doesn't seem to be working out. The 49ers have a lot to like. An absolute monster at tight end (Vernon Davis runs the 40-yard dash in less than 4.4 seconds at 250 lbs.), Frank Gore at running back and a couple of young receivers with a lot of potential in Josh Morgan and Michael Crabtree. On defense, Patrick Willis anchors one of the league's most talented units.
The 49ers have a lot to offer. But would they be willing to part with Alex Smith? The Niners are also quite young. Would they perhaps be better off drafting a quarterback or going after the odd man out in the Kevin Kolb/Michael Vick battle?
Either way, I think McNabb has a better option.
The Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have talent at the skill positions that is simply unmatched in the NFL. Sidney Rice is a 6'4" former second-round pick who exploded for 1,300 yards last season. Percy Harvin is one of the most explosive athletes in the league and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Bernard Berrian has good size and very good deep speed.
And of course, I leave the best for last. Arguably the most talented receiver to ever set foot on the gridiron: Randy Moss.
At running back, the Vikings only have Adrian Peterson, the 225-lb. monster who runs a 4.4 40 and is one of the top two running backs in the league. On the offensive line, Bryant McKinnie and Steve Hutchinson are a bona fide wall on the quarterback's blindside.
Want to take a shot deep? Moss, Harvin and Berrian would be happy to oblige. Need a big target in the red zone? Meet Rice and Shiancoe. Want to keep the defense off balance and set up play-action? They don't call him "All Day" for nothing.
McNabb would have easily the most talented offense he has ever played with. And on the other side, the Vikings have an elite unit led by Jared Allen. This team would be a heavy favorite to win the Super Bowl. And if all that wasn't enough, the head coach is Brad Childress, who used to be offensive coordinator for the Eagles when McNabb played there.
Why would the Vikings want McNabb? Brett Favre has a lot of talent, but the guy simply has too many off-the-field issues. He can still play, but his shenanigans are getting in the way of the Vikings' success.
In McNabb they would have the perfect guy to run their offense. He has played for Childress before in the West Coast offense. Most importantly, he excels at play-action. The threat of Adrian Peterson running into the line will make this a deadly weapon. In addition, the Vikings have to capitalize on this talent now. Their only major hole is at quarterback right now.
Sign McNabb to a short-term deal and get a Super Bowl. A rookie would take time to develop and the Vikings cannot take the chance that things change for them in two years.
McNabb and the Vikings together make too much sense not to happen. Mark my words: McNabb will be rocking the purple and yellow next fall.
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