In fairness, I suppose it’s a little hypocritical to criticize Donovan McNabb for his absurd Hall of Fame comment yesterday. If someone asked me if I would vote for myself to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame if such a vote was remotely conceivable, I’d give a resounding “HELL YES!!!” and would then proceed to list my many credentials (I watch football and write about football, which seems more than sufficient).
McNabb has played football professionally, so that immediately makes him far more qualified than me to gain entrance into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That’s where his résumé ends, though, because beyond the mere act of playing in the NFL, there’s little that gives McNabb reason to say that he’d vote for himself with a straight face.
More on that in a moment, but first here are his comments made yesterday during a Fox sports interview (via Larry Brown Sports).
Asked by host Mark Kriegel if he would vote for himself for the Hall of Fame, McNabb gave a confident response.
“Absolutely,” McNabb said. “See, one thing that people don’t realize — I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played the game because I love it. I played the game to win. I’m a competitor. When I step out on the field, I feel like I’m the best player on the field. Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, ‘Oh, he’s done, or whatever.’ I’m 34, 35 years old but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career. I played there. And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame.
“When you sit and look at the numbers — and that’s what it is when it comes to the Hall of Fame — my numbers are better than Jim Kelly, better than Troy Aikman, better than a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame, but the one thing they do have is a Super Bowl,” McNabb said.
McNabb had quality numbers during the prime of his career, throwing for more than 3,500 yards three times, and flirting with 4,000 yards twice. That yardage may seem minuscule now during a prolific passing era, but McNabb was once among the elite prior to the time when elite quarterbacks pushed 5,000 yards. His accuracy was always good, but not great, and he had eight seasons with a completion percentage below 60. He also had a very pedestrian career passer rating of 85.6.
But championships do matter in the hall of fame debate, and they always have whether you agree with that methodology or not (for the record, I mostly despise it). McNabb’s inability to win major playoff games combined with his rapid decline in his early 30s during a time when true upper echelon quarterbacks are usually still productive has created a stench that will never go away.
Throw in the fact that he’s essentially been forced into retirement now because no team wants to sign him even as a backup, and it’s incredibly difficult to imagine a Canton ceremony for Philly’s least favorite former quarterback.
And now you want to know the rest of the story…
- An Asante Samuel trade has been rumored pretty much since the day Nnamdi Asomugha was signed by Philadelphia, with the speculation peaking and then calming in a cycle that lasted throughout the season. The buzz has built again over the past week, and now it’s looking like the Eagles would like to get a deal done before the draft. [Adam Schefter on Twitter]
- No team has attempted to sign Mike Wallace to an offer sheet, and with the deadline now 24 hours away, it’s looking like that won’t happen. [Schefter again]
- The 49ers are officially breaking ground on their new stadium today. [Niners Nation]
- Many former Colts are still free agents, and they’re waiting for an employment opportunity somewhere. It’s sounding like Colts GM Ryan Grigson would only bring them back if he’s truly desperate. [Gregg Rosenthal]
- Dallas Clark is the most prominent name among that group of former Colts, and he may be done as a pro. [SB Nation]
- The Bills signed Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, so drafting a pass rusher is no longer a priority. Still, if he’s there at No. 10 Melvin Ingram is simply far too talented to completely eliminate as an option. [Buffalo Rumblings]
- Roger Goodell told governor Mark Dayton that a failure to pass a new stadium bill will have “serious consequences” for the Vikings. [Pioneer Press]
- The Ravens are the best A-Gap defenders. [Pro Football Focus]
- The Eagles are changing their draft philosophy, and won’t be drafting purely based on need. [Philly.com]
- Is Brock Osweiler an option for the Dolphins? [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
- The Packers will likely draft a safety early. [Total Packers]