After 20 years, Donovan McNabb still hasn’t gotten over being booed at the NFL draft.
At least, that’s what I surmise from the latest batch of horse manure emanating from the former quarterback’s mouth.
McNabb went on the radio over the weekend and threw shade at Carson Wentz, the guy currently holding No. 5’s old job.
“I think, personally, if he can’t get out of the second round in the next two years, to be honest with you . . . they should look to possibly draft another quarterback because you just don’t know about his durability,” McNabb told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio.
“The team only goes as far as their quarterback takes them. And they put so many eggs in the basket with Carson Wentz and he has to prove that in the next two years.”
Wentz’s durability is fair game for debate. But arguing the Birds must look elsewhere if the team fails to reach the NFC title game by 2020 is inane. For one, franchise quarterbacks don’t turn up with the snap of a finger. The Eagles believe in Wentz. They traded up to for him in 2016 and will extend his contract before McNabb’s contrived deadline.
Secondly, resting all the blame on a quarterback for a team’s failure is simplistic. McNabb, of all people, knows that. During his playing days, he had a curious habit of declaring he would take responsibility, while simultaneously pointing at teammates.
I’m no mind reader, but I watched McNabb long enough to assess his motivation here. I’ll boil it down to three points:
– McNabb is proud of his 11 Eagles seasons and wants to be regarded as the greatest quarterback in modern franchise history. Wentz’s success would threaten that status.
– Let’s face it, McNabb is still bitter over being booed at the 1999 draft. The 2016 pick of Wentz, meanwhile, was cheered by ecstatic Eagles fans. While Donovan may claim, “No. 5 will always love you,” he’s not above trying to prod a little angst from the locals.
– McNabb’s personal and legal issues in recent years cost him his media gigs. Maybe he’s hoping to get back into a studio somewhere by bloviating in a way guaranteed to draw attention.
In the current TV talking-head world, a hot take is more revered than a smart take. And so it was that McNabb’s digs at Wentz drew the attention of braying jackass Skip Bayless, who took to Twitter to declare: “Donovan McNabb is absolutely right about Carson Wentz.”
Perhaps not recognizing Bayless as an enemy of the state – as well as a consistent Wentz needler – McNabb tweeted back his thanks for the support. Yeesh, nice friend, Donovan.
It all drew the attention of Eagles fans – and players. Late Sunday night, tackle Lane Johnson tweeted to McNabb: “And you wonder why nobody respects you when you come back!” The message was accompanied by six snake emojis.
Look, Eagles fans have always had a complex relationship with McNabb. Most admired his excellence as a player, but cringe whenever he opens his mouth. For a communications major from Syracuse, he trips over his tongue a lot.
When the Eagles retired McNabb’s jersey in 2013, he relished the embrace and talked of being a senior statesman for the franchise. Snarky remarks about the current quarterback certainly don’t fulfill that role.
You could argue he’s being honest here. But if he believes the claptrap he’s spewing, he’s full of beans. Or, as I said, he’s got motive for this nonsense. The whole thing almost makes you want to barf.
Okay, now that was a cheap shot.