It’s no surprise that soon-to-be-former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb doesn’t want to play for the Oakland Raiders.
A few years ago, it would have been a big surprise that McNabb — or anyone — would have wanted to play for the Arizona Cardinals.
But the Cardinals have become a legitimate contender in the NFC. They’ll stay there only with capable quarterback play post-Kurt Warner. If they don’t get it out of Matt Leinart or Derek Anderson in 2010, they may get it from McNabb in 2011.
Per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, McNabb “has his sights set” on eventually playing for the Cardinals. It could have happened in 2010; Cole reports that the Cardinals inquired about trading for McNabb before signing Anderson. Now, the Cardinals officially aren’t interested.
They could be in 2011, if (as expected) they fade back to the pack and become for the first time in three years a non-playoff team. Then there’s the reality that Leinart, per Cole, is due to make at least $12.86 million in 2011 — an amount the Cardinals surely won’t want to pay unless Leinart becomes “the guy” in 2010.
Still, McNabb’s availability will depend largely on his destination for 2010, and whether the team he ends up playing for this year can find a way to squat on his rights in 2011, either by signing him to a new deal or using the franchise tag, which may or may not be available.
Even if McNabb becomes an unrestricted free agent, the Cardinals could have competition for his services. The Vikings most likely will be looking for a post-Favre option next season, and McNabb would be the best choice.