By Josh Kramer
Today was easily the wildest day in sports all year. Or at least it ranks right up there with the first couple of days of this year’s March Madness. A call that may become as remembered in Pittsburgh as the unforgettable Franco Harris “Immaculate Reception” occurred during the wee hours of the night. A no-hitter happened early this afternoon. Major trade action has been going on all day in the MLB. Butch Davis received the axe from UNC. And of course, non stop football action as the craziest free agency period of all time trudges on.
Sure the Panthers re-signing of an overpriced DeAngelo Williams was nice for Carolina. Tennessee adding Seattle’s best QB of all time in Matt Hasselbeck to their team was big. The Jets bringing back Santonio Holmes was a major move. And of course Sidney Rice heading to Seattle was very headline worthy. Granted he will be running routes for the very up and down Tavaris Jackson who he is somewhat familiar with from his Minnesota days. But one transaction caught my eye more than all of the others today. And if you have not been living under a box, you are already more than aware of what move I am talking about.
Donovan McNabb to the Vikings.
A new beginning for the former Syracuse and Philadelphia Eagles star. I have been high on McNabb for a long time, despite his incredibly bad year in Washington. Donovan has always been a winner though. In 11 season as the Philadelphia starter, the Eagles compiled an overall record of 98 and 67 with only two losing seasons. In addition, the Eagles appeared in 5 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.
So I feel the numbers with wins and losses speak for themselves already, but here is some deeper reasoning why McNabb may be the missing piece in Minnesota.
-First of all, people should ignore last season. Donovan had the worst year of his career while playing for arguably the NFL’s most mismanaged franchises outside of Cincinnati. Plus McNabb played under Mike Shanahan. A coach who has not made any positive noise since 2005, and no lasting impact since the 90s. Also realize that Shanahan had a man by the name of John Elway on his team way back when.
-McNabb has never had a team around him with the weapons that it appears Minnesota is destined to have on both sides of the ball. McNabb led the Eagles to 4 NFC Championship Games with no real offensive weapons around him, outside of a few solid years from versatile back Brian Westbrook. But does Westbrook in his prime really even scratch the surface of the current version of Adrian Peterson? And note that the year McNabb did have a real big play target (Terrell Owens in 2004), he took the Eagles to the Super Bowl game.
-McNabb is motivated and in arguably the best shape of his life. After getting to rest for the final three games in Washington last year (due to being benched) and working hard this offseason, McNabb is motivated and ready to end his outstanding career with a bang. Do you really think the six-time Pro Bowler wants to end his career on the current downward path he is on?
– There is no sugar-coating it. Brett Favre is the main reason why Minnesota failed to meet any of the lofty expectations that was placed on them last year. That team should have cruised into the playoffs, and even possibly advanced to the big game. Favre threw an unfathomable 19 interceptions to go with just 11 touchdowns. In addition, during his time in Minnesota, he took the attention off of Adrian Peterson and turned the Vikings away from being a run first offensive unit. #4 was the only guy in the world who could have possibly pulled off that feat. Luckily for Minnesota, McNabb has never really had a horrible “case of the interceptions.” Outside of last year, he had never thrown more than 13 in a season. Plus he threw under ten during the course of six different seasons.
So there you have it. Now the loss of Sidney Rice will hurt. But due to injuries, he hardly contributed last year as we witnessed the emergence of Percy Harvin. Sure the Vikings would love to add another receiving threat, but if not, McNabb is used to making the most of what is given to him. Plus he has a quarterback’s best friend, Adrian Peterson.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.