Tag:Donovan McNabb
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:31 pm
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John Beck is not yet Redskins starter

J. Beck is not yet officially Washington's starter (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Donovan McNabb off the Redskins radar screen and with Rex Grossman a free agent, it was assumed by just about everybody -- especially by the man himself -- that John Beck was in the position to take over Washington’s starting QB spot.

And by just about everybody, I’m not including Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who told reporters, via the DC Sports Bog, that Beck actually ISN’T the starter right now.

As Dan Steinberg points out, many national reporters have assumed that because Beck said he thought of himself as the starter that he actually was. But until NFL.com asked Shanahan, he hadn’t made a comment on the scenario.

“First of all, I’ve never mentioned a starter,” Shanahan said. “I’ve never even insinuated a starter. I said I had a lot of belief in John Beck, I had a lot of belief in Rex Grossman. We’re going to play the best player at the end of camp, but I do believe in both those guys. I’ve watched them practice. You make decisions based on practice. I’ve watched both these guys for a year, I like what they bring to the table. Now I get a chance to watch them compete on a day-to-day basis.”

Grossman, for the record, has 31 career starts (including three last year) against Beck’s four -- which is less than half as many as the one guy who’s getting no love in this case. That would be nine starts for Kellen Clemens.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 5:13 pm
 

McNabb's Vikings contract: 1 year, $5.05 million

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been a precipitous fall for Donovan McNabb, the one-time franchise quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles who was traded to the Redskins after the 2009 season. Washington gave him a five-year, $70 million extension early in the 2010 campaign only to later bench him for Rex Grossman.

It gets worse: McNabb was eventually demoted to third-string behind Grossman and John Beck, who had played in all of four NFL games (all losses, by the way) since coming into the league in 2007.

No one was shocked when McNabb and the Skins parted ways in July; Washington shipped him to the Vikings, where he's the latest grizzled veteran quarterback to assume the starting duties. This time, though, Minnesota didn't lavish their old-timer under center with a huge contract. Just the opposite, in fact.

An NFL source tells the StarTribune.com's Judd Zulgad that McNabb received a one-year deal worth $5.05 million.

Or as PFT's Mike Florio put is Saturday: "That’s only $1 million more than the $4 million average of the two-year deal that former Vikings starter Tarvaris Jackson signed in Seattle, and it’s $11 million less than what the guy who ultimately replaced McNabb will earn in Philly this year."

According to Tom Pelissero of ESPN Radio the team included incentives that push the maximum value of the contract to $7.25 million.

Zulgad calls the deal a "win-win" for the Vikings because it means that if McNabb plays in 2011 like he did in 2010 Minnesota can let him walk. It also gives us some indication of what the Vikings' plans are for rookie quarterback Christian Ponder: he'll likely sit for this season and it will be his job to lose heading into 2012. And who knows -- depending on how things go, perhaps sooner.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 3:18 pm
 

McNabb says 'you become robotic' for some coaches

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It took nearly a week and the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement, but Minnesota quarterback Donovan McNabb finally got on the field with his new teammates.

And not unlike his 2010 season in Washington, McNabb's first official day on the job was a mixed bag. The St. Paul Pioneer Press's Jeremy Fowler writes that "From 50-yard completions to ducks crashing into the grass, Donovan McNabb made just about every throw in his first full practice with the Vikings."

To be fair -- and McNabb pointed this out after the fact -- it was his first workout with a new team, with new faces, in a new system.

"We made a lot of big plays today, but some plays we want back," McNabb said, according to the Pioneer Press. "Everything was moving a mile a minute (early on); your legs feel so fresh that your drops are extremely fast. You just have to calm down."

One difference between Minnesota and previous teams -- at least to hear McNabb tell it -- is that Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is more amenable to input from the quarterback than former coaches (we won't name names but we'll venture a guess…).

"Some coaches say 'Hey, it's my way or no way,' " McNabb said. "You become robotic. That's when you pull away from your style of play and the way of things that got you successful. If things don't go as well as you'd like them to, you find out what the mistake was, you correct it and you go right back and get it done."

McNabb probably deserved to be benched at some point last season, but that's not the issue. Why did Mike Shanahan give up a second-round pick to division rival Philadelphia for a guy who didn't fit his system?

(And if the argument is, "Well, he thought McNabb was a good fit and that's why he traded for him," that makes Shanahan seem out of touch and a horrible judge of talent. Which is fine for your fantasty football team, less so when you're coaching an actual NFL franchise.)

Worse still: once it was determined that McNabb wasn't working, the backup plan was … Rex Grossman.  (If nothing else, the Redksins' chronic ineptitude over the years has provided some much need comedy relief. So there's that. )

Now McNabb gets a fresh start in Minnesota. And maybe he will find some of the magic that helped propel the Eagles to annual playoff appearances in the mid-2000s. But it's just as likely (and maybe more so) that 2011 will not only signal the end of McNabb's run as an NFL starter, but usher in the Christian Ponder era. The only question is when.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Grossman signs, battles Beck for Skins' QB job

Posted by Ryan Wilson

One of the least surprising moves of free agency was the Redskins' decision to jettison quarterback Donovan McNabb after just one season in Washington. Despite a new head coach and general manager, the Skins still appeared to be the same slapstick (unintentional) comedy act when it came to roster building.

Mike Shanahan unceremoniously benched McNabb for Rex Grossman midway through the 2010 season (good news, however: Shanahan proclaimed last month that "I love Donovan McNabb," so there's that), and Washington's other backup, John Beck, appeared to win the job by default.

Well, Grossman, a free-agent until Tuesday, has signed a one-year deal to return to the Redskins. And now the biggest storyline in Washington will be which player, with seven starts between them in the last six seasons and a combined career passer rating that averages in the mid-60s, wins the starting quarterback gig.

“This is all I can ask for: an offense I love, a bunch of players I think are really good,” Grossman said on his first day back at Redskins Park. “I’m excited about this team, this offense and my opportunity.”

Washington's coaches have stressed that the QB job is wide open, even if it seemed that Beck was anointed the starter during the offseason.

“They all got a good opportunity,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said, according to the Washington Post. “Whenever you don’t have a designated starter, you got a lot of competition.”

Maybe that's a shot at McNabb (Shanahan was rumored not to be much of a fan) or maybe it's the realization that the team's going into the season with either Beck or Grossman as their starting QB. It can't be a comforting thought for supporters who have endured more than should be expected of any fan base not located in Detroit during those heady Matt Millen days. Upside: Grossman and Beck both sound like they want the job. It's not much but, well, it's something.

“I want to be able to do the second half of the Cowboys game throughout 16 weeks and on through the playoffs as well,” Grossman said of a half in which he was 18-of-30 passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. “That’s my challenge: to be consistently great.”

And while Beck has just four starts in his four-year NFL career, the last coming during his rookies season in 2007, he exudes confidence.

“I know where I stand, and I know how I’m viewed,” he says, according to Yahoo.com. “But I feel differently about myself. I know the questions are justified. I haven’t thrown a lot of passes. I have to prove to everyone what I can do. … Coach Shanahan is giving me my chance. That’s all I’ve been asking for in this league – a real chance.”

However the rest of training camp and the preseason play out, there's a very good chance that the Redskins' will begin the season with a 30-year-old under center. All that's left to sort out is if it will be a former first-round pick who has underachieved for most of his career, or a former second-rounder who has yet to win an NFL game.

If nothing else, it should give some indication of what the Redskins coaches thought of McNabb.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 9:44 am
 

Podcast: Chris Kluwe Talks Music, McNabb and more

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who you may remember as one of the only players to call out four of the named plaintiffs in the Brady v. the NFL lawsuit, joins the podcast to talk about -- what else -- his lockout comments.

Kluwe also weighs in on his band, Tripping Icarus (you can download their music from iTunes here and listen at their Myspace page here), giving up his No. 5 to new Vikings QB Donovan McNabb, and the fact that we now have actual football.

Co-hosts Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson then break down Randy Moss' retirement, the various free agency comings and goings around the league, whether the Eagles are the "Miami Heat of the NFL," and if Chris Johnson is worth "Adrian Peterson money."

Talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)



Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Donovan McNabb trade to Vikings 'done'

Posted by Will Brinson

At various points on Tuesday and Wednesday, Donovan McNabb was as good as gone from Washington, borne out into the great midwest to mentor Christian Ponder with the Vikings, as first reported by CBSSports.com's own Mike Freeman.

But there was a little matter of McNabb agreeing to changing up his contract, since Minnesota obviously wasn't going to give him eight figures to do so.

That issue appears to have been cleared though, and the McNabb-to-Minny deal is "now official."

That's according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, who reported Wednesday that the deal is "done" and will be announced on Thursday.
Free Agent Frenzy

A league source has confirmed the report to Freeman as well.

There haven't been precise details of the trade released yet, but it stands to reason that, as we previously noted, the Redskins will still receive a pair of sixth-round picks in return for McNabb.

Given that near-sickening drop in value, it's hard to imagine that McNabb will be getting all that much money from the Vikings just to play the role of mentor. But then again, he's out of Washington so whatever he had to give up is probably worth it.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:29 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 11:33 pm
 

McNabb trade to Vikings nearly done

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The trade for Donovan McNabb draws ever closer.

The Miami Herald’s Omar Kelly reported that the trade of McNabb from the Redskins to the Vikings was a done deal, as long as Minnesota can successfully renegotiate a new contract with McNabb.

Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer, meanwhile, writes that the Vikings have agreed to send a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 and 2013 to the Redskins in exchange for McNabb.

Writes Glazer: “Vikes were hoping for Tyler Thigpen and looking at (Bruce) Gradkowski and in the end McNabb at that low price, picks and salary, not much to lose.”

I imagine we’ll hear about the end of this deal very soon, because McNabb is sure to agree to a paycut. At this point, what other choice does he have?

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:49 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:35 am
 

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Posted by Will Brinson



We knew Tuesday's free-agency action wasn't going to be "calm." But man-oh-man did things heat up late, what with the Panthers dropping the equivalent of Charlotte's gross annual income on defensive end Charles Johnson, and the Redskins and Ravens making moves for their own free agents.

If anything, it showed that teams who have favorable relationships with their current players did get a bit of an advantage during this hectic offseason. But what about teams who need to find help -- specifically, quarterback help -- from the outside? Well, there's a market, but it's percolating more often than my coffee pot Tuesday.

So let's break down the values of the three biggest names out there, shall we?

Kevin Kolb
Kolb's the hottest target on the market, but is he the quarterback most guaranteed to succeed with a new team next year? Not necessarily, but it doesn't matter.

His value's done nothing but skyrocket since the lockout began, and it sure does seem like all the reports that he's locked into the Cardinals will come into fruition.

The Cardinals are reportedly keeping their options open -- Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reported on Tuesday that Arizona was talking with Denver about Kyle Orton as well as discussing the possibility of adding Marc Bulger and Matt Hasselbeck -- but the reality is they're not just trying to secure a quarterback for 2011.

They're also trying to secure a quarterback for the future and make sure they don't risk losing superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to the open market should he become disgruntled.

Lest you think that matters to the Cardinals, who were in the Super Bowl just a few years ago, wait until push comes to shove and the marketplace starts to bear itself out.

For now, Arizona's front office can pretend to play chicken with the Eagles in a deal for Kolb. Once things become a little clearer and quarterbacks begin aligning with various teams (see: Seattle jumping on the bandwagon that is Tarvaris Jackson) there won't be nearly enough leverage hanging out there for the Cardinals to lean on.

Potential Suitors
: Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins
Best Bet
: It's the Cards by a longshot now that the Seahawks are ruled out. Miami could come sprinting around the turn at the last minute, but at this point it would be a borderline surprise if Kolb wasn't traded to Arizona.

Kyle Orton
Orton's the de facto red herring for the Cards (see: above) apparently, but if you poll most folks, they'll probably at least agree he can be as productive in the right system as Kolb.

In fact, Orton's piled up more than 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns each of the last two years. And get THIS: each of those years equated to a large total of both yardage and touchdowns than Kolb has in his entire career.

Yes I'm aware that Kolb's only started seven games in his four years in the league and, yes, I'm aware that he's had a rough go of things given that no one really saw Michael Vick usurping his would-be throne in Philly.

But none of that bad luck guarantees that he'll succeed any more than someone like Orton who has two clear-cut years of production in the right system.

My counting-stats rant aside, Kolb's still the top guy available, but there's definitely a market for Orton. And one spot that really makes sense is Miami, where the Dolphins have struggled since Dan Marino retired to find a suitable replacement under center.

Those struggles have manifested themselves in the continual wasting of second-round picks and -- lo and behold! -- that's exactly what everyone thinks Denver wants in return for Orton.

Rather than gambling on another rookie down the road, it seems reasonable that Miami could invest another second-rounder in Orton. Unless Stephen Ross is as obsessed with Vince Young as Bud Adams anyway.

Potential Suitors: Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals
Best Bet
: The Fins. Orton's a better bet than either Vince Young or Matt Moore and, again, it's "just" a second-rounder.


Donovan McNabb
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Which brings us to this guy. Poor Donovan hasn't had the easiest year in the world -- he's been mortified by Mike Shanhan and the Redskins coaching staff on national television (seriously: wouldn't you rather get pansted in DuPont Circle than get yanked mid-game for Rex Grossman?) and basically been castoff into free-agent oblivion.

There's even been talk of retirement. But the talk today has circled primarily around the Vikings. Which -- of course -- is where McNabb was supposed to go all along.

There was no deal finalized on Tuesday and/or even agreed to, but it's looking like Minnesota will bring in McNabb to try and provide a stabilizing veteran presence on the roster.

Christian Ponder's obviously the future, and I agree with my life coach Pete Prisco that he's the best-suited rookie quarterback to succeed from Day 1.

But that doesn't mean rookie coach Leslie Frazier shouldn't have a backup option in place should he find out that Ponder's not ready quite yet.

Plus, the two teams play on Christmas Eve, man. And that's something that just has to happen in terms of potential revenge games that may or may not feature McNabb running over Ponder's foot the week of the game just to get the start.

For all of that to even happen, though, McNabb's going to need to agree to work out a significant change in his contract. But if it gets him out of purgatory Washington, it's worth the lost money.

Potential Suitors: Minnesota Vikings
Best Bet: Vikings. It just doesn't seem likely that the Titans or Dolphins will step up and trade for McNabb. If he's released by Washington, this could all change but for now the Vikings appear to be the clear-cut leader in the clubhouse when it comes to Donovan's services.

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