Unappreciated at times and ultimately traded out of Philly before having a one-year detour to D.C. go about as badly as it could have, new Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb arrives in Minnesota sans shoulder chip.
“I’ve moved past that whole ‘something to prove’ deal,” McNabb told the media, via a transcript circulated by the team. “For me, it’s about going out there, being who I am and doing what I do. That’s what Leslie [Frazier] wants and that’s what the team wants with expectations of me being the guy they’ve seen over the years in trying to lead this team. Any time you get into that chip on the shoulder, trying to prove that I can do this and I can do that, it takes away from what you’re capable of doing and who you are as a player, as well as a person. I’ve been through that and I’m not going there anymore.”
Instead, McNabb is focusing on the positive. “It’s a new day for me,” McNabb said. “Obviously you try to learn from the past and your mistakes and how you can become a better player as well as a better person. You take that with a grain of salt and I don’t regret any decisions that were made and for this opportunity to play here with these group of guys, I’m excited. I’m excited to get started with the guys we have around on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, as well as the coaching staff. I’ve known Leslie for a number of years now. His opportunity of becoming a head coach now and to make me a part of it, we want to bring that success that we had in Philadelphia here to Minnesota and possibly hold up that trophy in the end.”
That pursuit of a trophy prompted McNabb to willingly take less money. Asked to elaborate on his contract, McNabb joked, “Well, mine is 4 [years] for 95 [million]. I just recently took more than Peyton [Manning]. . . . It’s not about the money, for me it was an opportunity to, if it were take less to play with a better team and have an opportunity to win, that’s what it was all about. I understand we have some holes to fill and they’re looking to bring guys in to help us to obviously get where we want to go. That’s what the mindset is. That’s what the mindset is all about, of having an opportunity to play with a team with a lot of veterans who have won and had success and I’m looking forward to getting back to that winning edge.”
Though the Vikings aren’t the team they were a couple of years ago, of all the franchises potentially interested in McNabb, the Vikings arguably are in the best position to compete — especially with running back Adrian Peterson still in his prime, receiver Percy Harvin entering his, and enough punch in the front four to make things interesting.