McNabb has “Big” Talk Over Benching

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: February 25, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — According to ESPN’s Michael Smith, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his agent Fletcher Smith did indeed have their long-awaited meeting with Eagles head coach Andy Reid and team president Joe Banner the week of February 16th. The quarterback had his opportunity to air his unhappiness over his in-game benching in a Week 12 loss at Baltimore.

Granted in that game McNabb was not at his best (8-for-18 for 59 yards with two interceptions and a fumble in the first half), but the Eagles clearly still had a chance after trailing at the half by only three points and McNabb was man to lead them back and not “green” second-year quarterback Kevin Kolb — enough already with this almost four month old story.

I am sure that the Eagles listened and promptly told their star quarterback, “Get Over It” and what is in the past shall remain in the past and he is their man, especially after their great end of season run to the NFC Championship game behind his leadership and steady play.

An Eagles insider confirmed to ESPN that the two sides settled their differences over his benching. However McNabb after crying the blues over his benching to a reticent audience turned his intentions toward the future.

The former five-time Pro Bowl player said that he would refrain from seeking a contract extension until after he sees if the Eagles address their holes this off-season (i.e. Get me some offensive weapons at RB, WR, and TE or else).

McNabb, 32, better be real careful how he proceeds with demands of the Eagles front office — just ask Jeremiah Trotter, Jon Welbourne, Corey Simon, and others how that worked out. Big No. 5 has two years remaining on his contract (due $9.2 Million in ’09 and $10 Million in 2010 from his 2002 of 12 year, $115 million dollars w/ $20.5 million guaranteed) and the Eagles are under no obligation to acquiesce to his demands for a new contract.

Though McNabb is correct in the opinion of many Birds fans that the team does indeed need more impact players on offense besides himself and mercurial RB Brian Westbrook, the Eagles have notoriously preached that their philosophy, “the sum is greater than one superstar part”.

The team time and time again has stuck by their philosophy pointing to their five NFC Championship Games in eight years without marquee weapons as proof that they are right and I don’t believe it will change anytime soon. You have to wonder if the Eagles will tell McNabb to “Pound Sand” and to let them run their team as they see fit.

We will have to wait and see what free agency (starts on Friday) brings, but history has shown that the Eagles will not be going after the big offensive names (TJ Houshmandzadeh, Derrick Ward, etc) of this rather shallow free agency pool.

Fans can still holdout hope of the Birds packaging picks including one or both of their two first round picks (21st and 28th overall picks) for unhappy campers like (Anquan Boldin, Tony Gonzalez, or Chad Johnson).

But I think the NFL Draft in April (deep at OT, RB, and WR) will be where the team goes to fill their needs first. Of course to the chagrin of Eagles fans, you can expect an offensive tackle to most likely be one of their first round picks.

So as we move toward OTA’s and training camp, you can expect an even brighter spotlight on McNabb’s cries for “Help” and wonder about his future with the team.

NOTE: Don’t forget to read Lloyd’s guide to NFL free agency Friday on BASN.