When the Vikings waived Donovan McNabb shortly after Bears quarterback Jay Cutler got hurt, there was widespread speculation that McNabb would end up in Chicago. Instead, McNabb ended up watching the rest of the season from his couch. And now McNabb says the Bears screwed up by not signing him.
“I thought the Bears would call,” McNabb said on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “So many people continuously talked about the Mike Martz offense and things of that nature. I personally didn’t care about that. If you want to win and win now, you go out and get a better quarterback and you cater your offense to his strengths, and obviously the strengths of your team. Obviously it didn’t work out well for them. It’s unfortunate. I wish things would have worked out, but it didn’t. We will see what happens from now on.”
The big question, however, is whether McNabb really would have been a better quarterback for the Bears. McNabb has been a lousy player with the Vikings and Redskins the last two years, and there’s little reason to believe he would have been any better while jumping into a new offense on a new team. The Bears didn’t decide not to claim McNabb because they didn’t want to win, they decided not to claim McNabb for the same reason the NFL’s 31 other teams didn’t want McNabb: They didn’t think he could help them win.
Obviously, the Bears botched their backup quarterback situation: They appeared to be on the way to the playoffs before Cutler’s injury, then lost five straight games and were eliminated from playoff contention after Cutler went down. In hindsight, the Bears should have had a better backup than Caleb Hanie in place.
But there’s no reason to think McNabb would have been an improvement.