Westy went on a Chicago radio show and made the comment that Donovan McNabb is under-appreciated. We've heard this from quite a few people recently. Let's talk about it.
I think most Eagles fans do appreciate Donovan McNabb. There is a lot of frustration with him right now because of the end of the 2009 season. Getting shut out in the season finale and then leading us to a TD in garbage time in the playoff game is not the way to endear yourself to fans. Do that against the Cowboys and your reputation hits rock bottom.
This doesn't mean that Eagles fans don't love McNabb for what he's done. We're upset with him. Can't you get mad at a relative or friend? Just because I threaten to turn my nephews over to the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang doesn't mean I hate them. Okay, maybe that's a bad example.
I think anybody who's followed the Eagles for a long time knows that McNabb is the best QB in team history. He has been a winner for us. He's been a good face for the organization. Donovan hasn't had any off-field issues. He's the kind of athlete you can be proud of playing for your team. I absolutely get frustrated with McNabb at times, but I definitely appreciate how good he is. I would have given anything to see Donnie, Dawk, Westy, Tra, Runyan, and Big Red all together with the Lombardi Trophy. Now Donovan is the only player from that group that is still around.
There are some fans out there who have never liked McNabb. I'm certainly aware of that. They think he's cost us some Super Bowl titles or that he isn't a vocal enough leader or that he's not dedicated to the game. Whatever. Those are the kind of people that have an agenda. They don't like a guy and don't care what the facts are. The unfortunate thing is that these people are very vocal. They get far too much attention and that leads some people to think maybe a lot of people feel this way. Remember Shoulder-Pad Shawn and the Dirty Thirty? That group of nutso vocal fans booed McNabb on draft day. Somehow that has morphed into the fact that Donovan wasn't wanted in Philly. Wrong. Plenty of fans were ecstatic when McNabb was picked and have loved him being our QB for more than a decade.
Things do get tricky when talking about McNabb's status and future. Some people say "how can you even consider trading him? Would you deal Manning or Brady?" Those guys are first ballot HOF selections and SB winners. McNabb isn't on their level. He's a notch below. That isn't an insult. It is just reality. People are too eager to hate or love. Guess what. There is ground between HOF player and "he sucks". Donovan may play his way to the HOF level, but barring a crazy run in the next few years he won't be a first ballot guy. Those players are the best of the best.
I think smart fans understand all of this and love McNabb for what he's done. Whether his last year was 2009 or some time in the future, I'm sure as heck thankful for all Donovan did for the Eagles and city of Philadelphia.
What is his future? I think it really depends on the other teams in the league. My guess is that the Eagles will trade him for the right offer, but will not give him away. Would a 1st round pick get the deal done? Would a pick and star player be enough? We'll have to wait and see.
I'll post some Eagles related Combine notes on Sunday.