Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb’s days in the city of brotherly love have seemingly been numbered for years, but there are indications the Eagles may actually be looking to move him this offseason. If they do, one very possible destination is Minnesota, where the Vikings have put themselves smack in the middle of The Third Annual Brett Favre Retirement Sweepstakes.
First, let’s take a look at the Eagles situation. McNabb is entering the final year of his contract and at 33, hasn’t shown the ability to take the Eagles to their ultimate goal – a Super Bowl championship. Meanwhile, Kevin Kolb was drafted in 2007 as McNabb’s eventual successor and has spent most of his three seasons in Philly holding a clipboard, although he did look impressive in two starts for an injured McNabb in the early part of the 2009 season (718 yards, 4 TDs, 3 Ints).
See any parallels to the Green Bay Packers here?
Yup. It could turn out a lot like when the Packers showed Favre the door.
Like Favre, McNabb still has some gas left in the tank. He threw for 3,553 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2009 against only 10 interceptions, but Philadelphia eventually has to hand the ball to Kolb and with young playmakers like DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy ready to take over the offense, that time is probably now. And, since McNabb is still playing at a high level, he’s a valuable trade commodity (the Eagles will likely ask for a No. 1, but are more likely to get a second- or third-round pick).
That, of course, brings us to our favorite target of derision and scorn – the Vikings.
The Vikings have no real idea what Favre is going to do and they, like we, know he’s subject to change his mind at any time. We also know Favre probably isn’t likely to make a decision until late in the summer, so he can avoid training camp.
Assuming Favre does retire, Minnesota seems the most likely landing spot for McNabb.
The Vikings are in win-now mode, as they signaled with the signing of Favre last season (and hey, they need a new stadium, too). They have the talent to be a very good team and, if it wasn’t for good ole’ Lord Favre, they might be in the Super Bowl right now. Secondly, the organization clearly doesn’t have faith in backups Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, or this conversation would be moot. Finally, it’s possible the Vikings could trade for McNabb simply because they don’t want to play Favre’s game – a McNabb trade would essentially force Favre into retirement.
It’s an intriguing situation for a number of reasons, mostly because the Vikings don’t necessarily look like they’ll come out as winners regardless of what happens.
Scenario 1: Favre returns
The Vikings wait around for Favre all summer with no real plan of action to replace him. He finally shows up in late August after subjecting the team to unneeded media scrutiny. The Vikings go to the playoffs, Favre throws a bone-headed interception with the game on the line – season over.
Scenario 2: Vikings trade for McNabb
The Vikings get McNabb and, in the process, mortgage part of their future by trading away a high draft choice (just like they did for Rosenfels). McNabb leads the Vikings through his typical up-and-down season, the team makes the playoffs as a wild card and lose in the first round because, let’s face it, like the Vikings, McNabb has never demonstrated the ability to win the big game. The McNabb trade signals a downward spiral for the Vikings, who, as their current players age, are unable to replace them. In three years, the Vikings are looking up at Detroit in the NFC North.
Scenario 3: Vikings stand pat
Favre retires and the Vikings go into the season with Rosenfels and Jackson. The Vikings go back to mediocre and out of the playoffs, right where they belong.
These scenarios are all wild predictions by me, of course.
The point is, no matter what they do, the Minnesota Vikings will still fail because that’s what failures do.