Donovan McNabb Available, but Teams Should Not Sign Him

Josh Greller@ToyotaFanZoneContributor IIIDecember 1, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Kyle Vanden Bosch #93 of the Detroit Lions sacks Donovan McNabb #5 of the Minnesota Vikings on September 25, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly granted Donovan McNabb’s request to be released from the team. He will now have a small window of time on the waiver wire—24 hours—during which other NFL squads may sign him.

But it wouldn’t be a wise move.

There is a seemingly mindless practice by playoff hopefuls to add names rather than talent before the postseason. Donovan McNabb is a name we all know, but he will add absolutely nothing to a team in the playoff hunt.

He has not played meaningful football in two years. In 2010, he fizzled with the Washington Redskins. After taking the team to a 5-8 record, McNabb was benched by Mike Shanahan in favor of Rex Grossman.

In favor of Rex Grossman, I said.

This year in Minnesota, McNabb brought the Vikings to a 1-5 record and was benched for rookie Christian Ponder.

Between the Redskins and Vikings, McNabb is 6-13 as a starter. His confidence is shattered, and he hasn’t looked comfortable in quite awhile.

He does have plenty of playoff experience, but he is also more familiar with the heartbreak of defeat than the taste of victory.

One Super Bowl appearance in seven playoff runs with the Eagles just shows he’s not quite a late-season clutch performer.



Not that there aren’t teams who could use a solid backup for a playoff push. The Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos come to mind immediately.

The Bears are placing their hopes on the shoulders of Caleb Hanie, who lost his first start of the season in Oakland in Week 12.

The Broncos are in an AFC West battle with Oakland and have won four straight with Tim Tebow at the helm. But what if he gets injured? All the praying in the world won’t turn Brady Quinn into a reliable QB.

The Texans brought in Jake Delhomme to take over for the injured Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart. He’s enough of a question mark without McNabb around, but Houston’s depth chart is rounded out by T.J. Yates and Kellen Clemens.

Baltimore could also use some reinforcements in the midst of an AFC North battle with Pittsburgh. Rookie Tyrod Taylor is the only other QB behind Joe Flacco at the moment.

These are some needs that may need to be addressed, but Donovan McNabb is not the answer. He has quietly crept to 35 years of age and isn’t the same player he once was.

Teams gunning for the playoffs need sound chemistry in the locker room and faith in their leaders.

McNabb brings neither. Instead, he offers just a media frenzy and distraction. His degree from Syracuse is in speech communications, so I’ll be looking for him in a broadcast booth come January.


Josh Greller has been an editorial intern for Bleacher Report since September. He is a Bay Area resident and has written for various sports sites and startup companies.