At some point today Donovan McNabb is expected to agree to terms with the Vikings and become the newest established veteran (possibly washed-up) quarterback to ride into town on a promise of finally delivering the Super Bowl championship that has eluded the team for all of its history. But finalization of this trade will not happen without some drama – because everything Viking-related has to involve drama, and that goes double when you’re talking about the quarterback position.
The drama this time reportedly revolves around McNabb himself and his apparent hurt feelings over not being shown a level of deference comparable to that which the Vikings showed Brett Favre during their pursuit of him the last two seasons. As ESPN puts it, “McNabb was concerned Tuesday night about how the Vikings’ side of the situation was handled.” Evidently McNabb expected several Viking veterans to fly to his home in Zygi Wilf‘s jet bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh and possibly a six-pack, and was bothered when this did not happen.
Sorry Donovan but Jared, Hutch and Ryan were busy this year. You’ll have to find your own way to Minnesota unless you decide not to take the deal at all. My advice would be to take the deal because you’re not going to get a better one. Trust me, teams aren’t exactly lining up to woo you in a fashion that satisfies your Favre-like need for wooing. Reportedly, the Vikings only called you after they couldn’t get Tyler Thigpen. Yeah, that’s gotta sting.
My guess is that Donovan is probably irked by other things more tangible than just a general sense of not being shown the proper appreciation by his one-and-only suitor. For one, he’s probably annoyed that the Vikings haven’t assured him he’ll automatically be given the starting job. This is only sensible on the Vikings’ part. They didn’t draft Christian Ponder 12 overall so they could not give him a good look in camp. Donovan will have to beat out Ponder fair-and-square, a tall task considering Ponder has had the playbook all off-season and McNabb hasn’t (though one suspects Donovan’s veteran savvy will make up for this disadvantage).
Another thing maybe bothering Donovan is the money being offered by the Vikings. Had the Redskins kept him he would’ve been paid $12 million, but the Vikings have no intention of paying him even close to that much. Donovan of course remembers that Brett Favre got $20 million last season even though he allegedly didn’t ask for it. Think that plays into McNabb’s feeling of being slighted? But McNabb needs to remember that last year was uncapped and this year is decidedly capped, and the Vikings are right up against that cap.
It’s nothing personal Donovan, it’s just that the Vikings don’t have the money to pay you like Favre, and even if they did they don’t think you’re worth it. And anyway it’s not like you have a lot of other options. No one’s going to be rolling a wheelbarrow of cash up to your door and dropping it at your feet along with a promise you’ll get to start. And you know that, and that’s why eventually you’ll wipe your nose and take the Vikings’ deal.
Here’s my advice for you Donovan as you embark upon your new career as the quarterback the Vikings had to settle for because they lost out on Tyler Thigpen: Get your hands on that playbook as fast as possible. Also, get hold of Sidney Rice‘s phone number and start working on him to stay with the Vikings. You could have a nice array of weapons in Minnesota – better than you had last year in Washington for sure – but only if Rice stays. Third, try to be humble. Come in and say all the right things and do all the right things. And if your coaches ask you to wear a wristband? Remember that it’s for your own good and just wear the damn wristband.