Anyone familiar with Sports Illustrated senior writer Joe Posnanski knows that if he's writing something about someone he doesn't think highly of, he starts the piece off with, "I like (whoever it is)." I'm about to do the opposite.
I don't like Donovan McNabb. Granted, I think he's had a pretty good career, an above average player who was "elite" over a couple of stretches. He was my starting fantasy QB in 2006 - first 7 weeks of that year: 59% completion, 2151 yards (307 a game), 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 163 yards rushing (7.1 yards per carry) and 3 rushing TDs. He was a top 3 quarterback however briefly, until injury sidelined him for the rest of the year.
I've never liked McNabb because controversy and bullshit has followed him everywhere he's gone - some can be blamed on others (TO, Philly media, Rush Limbaugh) but it's become so frequent that it can't be a coincidence at this point. The way he handled the Kolb changing-of-the-guard situation in Philadelphia was beyond stupid, especially considering he obviously has the self-awareness and smarts enough to understand the right things to say in that situation, and why.
But that didn't stop him from glowering and pouting like a dipshit, oblivious that he's going to lose in the court of public opinion and undermine his replacement. Lo and behold, we're going to be presented the same situation with the Vikings. Based on what we know about McNabb, there's no way this is going to end well, right?
But despite all that... this trade is pretty much perfect for the Vikings.
First of all, they're getting him for almost nothing, which should hopefully send a loud enough message to McNabb that says, "HEY ASSHOLE, NO ONE ELSE WANTED YOU. DEAL WITH IT." It's even been revealed that McNabb was the Vikings 2nd choice, after Tyler Thigpen. That's humbling. So, he's got next to zero leverage now to pout like a dick, since he's lucky to be a starter somewhere.
Second, he was the best realistic option. Philly wanted too much for Kolb and Denver wanted too much for Orton, but besides that, both of those guys are too young to be "transitional" quarterbacks. You don't use a 1st round pick on a QB then willingly trade for and give up a ton for a guy still in his prime.
The other options were Thigpen, Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme, Vince Young and Bruce Gradkowski. No matter how you spin it, like him or not, McNabb is decidedly better than all of those guys.
What I don't understand is how there are still Vikings fans out there that are still in the "WIN NOW" mindset. That's not happening. This is an OLD team, with a first year head coach, a major transition season. The front office made up their minds the direction they were going with the Ponder draft pick. If you're really thinking McNabb can lead the Vikings to a winning record or better, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
That's not why he's here. It's part of the plan, a plan every team goes through every 10 years or so. It's okay. It's just unfamiliar to most because the Vikings haven't done anything like this since they drafted Daunte. Even in that instance, we were spoiled because we had Moss, Carter, Reed, Robert Smith and an o-line full of Pro Bowlers to break him in. So really, this is the first real honest-to-goodness start-from-scratch rebuild since... the '80s?
McNabb is a perfectly competent player who can start this year, or even next year as well while keeping the team competitive and/or fun to watch. And, this is going to sound morbid, and I do not wish any ill will towards the guy, but with his track record of injury, Ponder's probably still going to get playing time anyway.
I guess what I'm ultimately trying to get at is... it really doesn't matter who the Vikings get as a stopgap QB this year. This team isn't going to the playoffs, they're not supposed to. It IS nice that they were able to get the best available guy though, which lessens the odds of being a Browns/Panthers type embarrassment, and gives us a fighting chance against the rest of the division.
No, I'm not buying a McNabb jersey, but I am past the point at vomiting at the thought of seeing one.