Eagles will retire McNabb’s number on September 19

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Perhaps they won’t be booing Donovan McNabb on September 19, after all.

The Eagles have announced that halftime of the Andy Reid homecoming game won’t simply include a recognition of McNabb’s retirement, but also a retirement of his number.

“Donovan McNabb was a franchise-changing quarterback for the Eagles and helped raise the bar of success for this franchise during his 11-year tenure with the team,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a team-issued release.  “On the field, the numbers that Donovan posted during his time in an Eagles uniform speak for themselves.  He is the franchise leader in nearly every major passing category and is the all-time winningest quarterback in Eagles history.  His unique ability to make plays through the air and with his legs made him one of the most dynamic players this city has ever seen.  Donovan was the face and the focal point of so many of our great Eagles teams and he helped make this franchise a contender each and every year that he was here.”

McNabb’s No. 5 will join eight others as retired by the Eagles through 80 years of football:  15 (Steve Van Buren); 20 (Brian Dawkins); 40 (Tom Brookshier); 44 (Pete Retzlaff); 60 (Chuck Bednarik); 70 (Al Wistert); 92 (Reggie White); 99 (Jerome Brown).

In May, McNabb said he would “love” for his number to be retired.  He also said he’d put himself in the Hall of Fame.

One out of two ain’t bad.

94 responses to “Eagles will retire McNabb’s number on September 19

  1. deservingly so,
    2-1 touchdown to int ratio over a 9 year career.

    i wonder if they will put up a statue for the guy,
    it can be of that last super bowl drive where he had his hands on his knees while the clock just tick tick ticked away.

    that was a special moment for the city.

  2. The Eagles organization probably want to forget McNabb so much they don’t want to be reminded of him by seeing another player wearing 5 on the field.

  3. Say what you want about Donovan McNabb, in 5 years fans will be saying remember when Donovan Mcnabb made that play or this play……….He learned to evolve his game and not look to run at every opportunity. McNair, McNabb and now Russell Wilson have that ability to turn off the jets and rely on the arm.

  4. So refreshing to see an Eagles article without Chip Kelly saying he hasn’t decided who the QB will be.

  5. Retire his #? Really?

    I don’t know that McNabb is a guy that I’d retire a # for. Team hall of fame, a nice little retire and eagle ceremony….you know that stuff. But retire his #? Look at those names on that list and tell me McNabb is a Bednarik or White? Or Dawkins for that matter? Van Buren? Nope.

    I just don’t see it. It’s almost like they feel bad that an era that should have gotten to at least a couple more super bowls ended with a thud and the team doesn’t like it.

  6. The way McNabb ended his career with running his mouth and lazy on the sidelines this rates with just another Tebow story.

  7. Why will they retire the number of an average QB? Had he been anything special at all they would have won at least one SB.

  8. Instead of hanging his jersey on the rafters, they should bury it underground to represent his passing ability.

  9. Lets see now about all those play-off losses he has,to his credit.Don’t those count?Maybe they should retire the number of his play-off losses instead.

  10. ctiggs says:
    Jul 29, 2013 11:02 AM
    this is well deserved, if most you can get past your tunnel vision Mcnabb was a really good QB.

    Donovan McNabb was, in fact, a really good QB.

    When did teams start retiring the numbers of “really good” players?

    I would argue that there weren’t many years where he was even the best player on his team, much less one of the greatest Eagles ever.

    When you are deciding to retire a guy’s number, I don’t think you compare him to other guys who played the position for that team. Just because the Eagles have had alot of terrible QBs doesn’t justify retiring McNabb’s number because he was better than them.

    Eagles fans: If you were making a list of the greatest Eagles players EVER, would he even be in the Top 20?

  11. Best QB in modern era for the franchise so deserved.

    I think he is a QB that will look better in retrospect. Not a HOFer but someone who will be and deserves to on the list of players debated.

  12. Say what you want about his personality which stinks btw…. He is a hall of famer and deserves to have his number retired by the Eagles…. I say that because Jim Kelly is a hall of famer and McNabb’s stats was better. Men lie, Women lie, Numbers don’t…. @kingbattle on twitter

  13. McNabb should retire as an Eagle and even get a ring of honor mention but to retire #5? You cant be serious.

    All stats aside (which were HEAVILY padded by screen and shovel passes to Westbrook) this guy benefitted from a stout Jim Johnson defense.

  14. nflgiant says:
    Jul 29, 2013 11:09 AM

    Why?The Raiders never retired Ken Stablers number and he has a ring,…What gives?
    ================

    Besides Jim Otto, the Raiders have never retired ANYONES number.

  15. Im mixed on this. He was a very good QB. Not a great QB though.

    For everyone saying he is the best Eagles QB ever though, you are wrong. Van Brocklin was easily the best. Youre just to young to know anything about what happened before you were born.

    I dont really believe in retiring 5. Ring of honor, absolutely. But he has 0 chance at the HOF. And those are really the only numbers that I believe should be retired. The ones that were great.

    Dawkins was as close to great as Philadelphia has known since Reggie left. Not McNabb though.

    I loved him when he was here, and I thank him for the entertainment, but I was here through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and current football. He was very good, but I honestly dont think it was number retiring good.

  16. Now if someone can just retire his mouth and his always jealous opinions on others we’d be all set.

  17. otis52gsh says: Jul 29, 2013 11:12 AM

    Why will they retire the number of an average QB? Had he been anything special at all they would have won at least one SB.

    other than the 1.5 seasons he had TO, Don had the likes of Todd Pinkston, Fred Ex and James Thrash as his main WO’s! Freaking Tom Brady wouldn’t have won squat with those guys either!!!

  18. From being booed from the Eagles fans when drafted to his number being retired. Eagles fans booed McNabb because they wanted the Eagles to draft Ricky Williams, goes to show how much the Eagles fans know about football.

  19. Donavan McNabb 9 Playoff Wins
    Peyton Manning 9 Playoff Wins

    Donavan McNabb 7 Playoff Losses
    Peyton Manning 11 Playoff Losses

    Donavan McNabb 1 One and Done In Playoffs
    (2009)
    Peyton Manning 8 One and Done In Playoffs
    (1999) (2000) (2002) (2005) (2007) (2008)
    (2010) (2012)

    Remind me again why you are insulting one but not the other again?

  20. All of you saying that McNabb will be booed have no clue what you’re talking about. Philadelphia fans are fiercely loyal to our own.

  21. They should retire his number during an overtime ceremony and ask him if he remembers the rules.

  22. He should’ve beaten the Pats… Instead of driving his team to their first Championship he threw up.

    That’s how I remember him.

  23. like your fiercely loyal to Santa Clause? And why retired McNabbs number? What did he do? Won one conference championship and lost the SB, seems his royal fast ass got tired. He has no passing records except for fumbles lost? Mc blabbed and blabbed untill the Eagles got rid of him and not one NFL team gave him a try. And this clown believes he belongs in the HOF.
    Why I really dislike fatty QB is his habit of cracking on the new NFL young QBs.

  24. I’m not a believer in #s being retired. I think great players who wore cetain #s will always be remembered as the definitions of those #s reagrdless and that’s their legacy. Does anyone think that if another player wore #34 for Chicago that people wouldn’t think Walter Payton immediately? He’s the best RB I ever saw play. He’ll always be Chicago Bears #34 and no one else.

    I agree that the ring of honor etc is enough for good for the team but not NFL wide great players. I love Tedy Bruschi to death but this is what he just got and deserved. He was never HOF level overall, but he was team HOF level. Donte Hightower wears #54 (and Waters did before him in 2011) but he hasn’t grown into it yet. It’s still Buschi’s #. Maybe someday Hightower will be who I think of when I think #54. Dennard has #37 and no one will EVER be that # but Rodney to me. Ever. Period. That’s because besides what he meant to the great teams the Pats had when he was there in my book, Rodney is a pro football HOFer, not just a team HOFer.

    As to McNabb’s TD-int ratio, one reason it was good is that he was so inaccurate and threw a bunch of bounce passes. Can’t INT those.

  25. Seriously?

    Nothing more than a Career Achievement Award. He was a good, solid QB, not great.

    At no point in his career was he ever the best QB in the game.

  26. Sure he was a all pro qb for about 6-7 years of his career. He never had any wrs outside of TO for a year but he no legend. Only player that comes close to legend is Dawkins for them in recent history. I can promise you Dallas won’t put tony number in the ring of honor based on what he completed right now and both careers look similar. 0 rings but all pro qb. It going take kaepernick winning rings if my niners ever going retire his number.

  27. Much deserved. With regards to his broadcasting career, I seldom agree with him. I think he’s trying to set himself up as a man with an opinion rather than just a talking head like most on TV today.

  28. It was hard watching Donovan’s last 2 years in Philly in that he could not complete a simple slant pattern with out throwing the ball in the dirt.

    But getting past that as mentioned by many others he really was a dam good quarterback.

    His BEST game……vs Arizona playing on a broken ankle and throwning 4 touch downs……yep that was pretty good indeed.

  29. “He also said he’d put himself in the Hall of Fame.”

    I’m sure you would McNabb but most QB’s in the Hall of Fame who have won Super Bowl’s would disagree with you….

  30. ctiggs says:
    “this is well deserved, if most you can get past your tunnel vision Mcnabb was a really good QB.”

    Really good players don’t deserve to have thier numbers retired. Great players do.

  31. Retire his number?!! I would think an NFL organization would retire the number of a Hall of Famer, but McNabb is just in the Hall of Very Good….

  32. Donavan McNabb 9 Playoff Wins
    Peyton Manning 9 Playoff Wins

    Donavan McNabb 7 Playoff Losses
    Peyton Manning 11 Playoff Losses

    Donavan McNabb 1 One and Done In Playoffs
    (2009)
    Peyton Manning 8 One and Done In Playoffs
    (1999) (2000) (2002) (2005) (2007) (2008)
    (2010) (2012)

    Remind me again why you are insulting one but not the other again?

    ————————————-

    Sure. Because Mcnabb is a tool and peyton’s a likeable guy.

  33. Guys, you gotta remember, these are The Eagles. What they consider great is relative to their organization. The Eagles bar of excellence is set pretty low compared to other NFL teams.

  34. fordrandall15 says:
    Jul 29, 2013 11:36 AM
    Donavan McNabb 9 Playoff Wins
    Peyton Manning 9 Playoff Wins

    Donavan McNabb 7 Playoff Losses
    Peyton Manning 11 Playoff Losses

    Donavan McNabb 1 One and Done In Playoffs
    (2009)
    Peyton Manning 8 One and Done In Playoffs
    (1999) (2000) (2002) (2005) (2007) (2008)
    (2010) (2012)

    Remind me again why you are insulting one but not the other again?

    Peyton got his ring and his stats make Donovan’s look like he played 5 years in comparison. Oh and he didn’t “Lazy” himself out of the league 5 years before his arm gave out on him.

  35. I actually liked McNabb with the Eagles, but that all changed when he came to the Vikings. He was so bad that when Ponder finally came in, it was like we had Peyton Manning. Now he’s running his mouth and acting like a bitter old has-been.

  36. To me a retired number should go to someone who evokes the name of the franchise but also whose name is evoked when the franchise is mentioned. I don’t think too many people think Rodney Harrison when they think Patriots but they DO think Tom Brady. Those are the numbers that matter and I am not sure McNabb is in that category…Philly fans would have to answer that.

  37. As far as I’m concerned, the biggest negative against Mcnabb is that he had to play for a coach who had no clue how to call plays, manage the clock or make adjustments.

  38. I can’t see why they’d retire his number. He wasn’t a great player and they only have so many numbers.

    Now I’m waiting for Minnesota to retire Culpepper’s number, Tampa Bay to retire Brad Johnson’s number, and Detroit to retire Matthew Stafford’s number.

  39. Eagles fans: If you were making a list of the greatest Eagles players EVER, would he even be in the Top 20?

    Yes, he would. I don’t think I can name 20 better.
    Ten, yes, but not 20.

  40. It is becoming clear that the prolonged relative success of the last decade’s Eagles team can be attributed to in no particular order, the two stud offensive tackles, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Johnson and Donovan McNabb. McNabb is the quarteback. While it’s iffy whether he should have his number retired or not, because he is the quarterback, retiring his number serves to symbolize that run. That’s why his number is being retired.

  41. Never again will someone wearing the #5 be puking Chunky Soup along the sidelines for the Eagles… sad really…

  42. As I’m reading these comments, I’m reminded that some of the commenters on PFT aren’t very bright:

    1. Talking about McNabb’s time with the Skins and Vikings is stupid. This is an EAGLES retirement story.

    2. Look at McNabb’s numbers, and compare them to other Eagles QBs. Sure, it’s a short list, but again, this is an EAGLES retirement ceremony.

    3. Saying he prospered only because of Jim Johnson is absurd. Jim Johnson deserves a ton of credit. But the offense still had to put up points. The Eagles weren’t like the 2000 Ravens. And in 2004 with Terrell Owens, McNabb had over 30 touchdown passes. And how prolific did you want the Eagles to be with Thrash and Pinkston?

    4. If you personally don’t like McNabb…that’s fine. But don’t act like a woman…..stop being emotional. Give some insight. The guy had over 200 TD passes and over 30K yards. Some of you are acting like McNabb was Rex Grossman. There’s too much estrogen on this site.

  43. Good QB. We won a lot of games between 2000-2010. In the playoffs almost every year. 5 NFC Championship games and a Superbowl appearance.

    Besides “the ring” it’s a pretty good resume.

  44. Big mistake.

    He didn’t put the team on his back the way the media made it out to be.

    After Jim Johnson sadly left us McNabb couldn’t carry the Birds on his own anymore.

    He only had an 11 year stay in Philly for a reason. He wasn’t good enough to stay on the team longer.

    McNabb = Media Creation = Tim Tebow-like = Anti-Dan Marino = True All Timer and team carrier.

  45. McNabb’s last season with Philly the team went 11-5. Their winning percentage has been lower every year since. His second to last season Philly was 7 points away from the Superbowl. Don’t like him or the Eagles, just throwing it out there.

  46. The Eagles should one hop his #5 jersey to mid field like he does his passes. McNabb is just a bitter has been. Oh yeah he should retire his Twitter account and his mouth.

  47. Tommy McDonald HOF – – 5 time all pro with Eagles, world champion, still holds eagles single game reception record

  48. mcnabb would’ve won his ring if Doug Williams didn’t poison his chunky soup at 1/2 time

  49. fordrandall15 says: Jul 29, 2013 11:36 AM

    Donavan McNabb 9 Playoff Wins
    Peyton Manning 9 Playoff Wins

    Donavan McNabb 7 Playoff Losses
    Peyton Manning 11 Playoff Losses

    Donavan McNabb 1 One and Done In Playoffs
    (2009)
    Peyton Manning 8 One and Done In Playoffs
    (1999) (2000) (2002) (2005) (2007) (2008)
    (2010) (2012)

    Remind me again why you are insulting one but not the other again?

    dude: as buddy ryan said, “stats are for losers”. and are why i hate fantasy geeks who wouldn’t watch a football game unless there was math to do at the end to see how your players did.

    let me clue you in. i assume you watched peyton (who i don’t like personally but is a great qb) and don play. seeing them both play should tell you why everyone will agree peyton is a first ballot unanimous type hall of famer and most will agree that mcnabb was a good qb at least one tier below the greats of the game. If not, you need to watch more games without a statistical interest.

    a good td/int ratio can mean the guy won’t throw until a reciever is wide open. this hurts the team as the offenses are designed to have those throws on time. but to the stats geeks there is no recognition of this, and you get a person saying mcnabb and manning are relatively equal players.

  50. It would have been hilarious if they did this for the Eagles/Ravens match-up… Since that is who the eagles were playing when the end of the road started for Donavan.

    He got benched only down a touchdown… Then got traded within their own division. And was forced out of the league shortly after.

    Oh well, I guess the chiefs game has enough storylines too with Andy coming back.

  51. One thing regarding the hall of fame:

    When you think of this guy, is he the same player as Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, etc?

  52. fordrandall15 says:

    Remind me again why you are insulting one but not the other again?
    ___________________

    I’ll happily insult Manning when they have an article about his number being retired in Indy, if that ever comes to pass.

    This is an article about McNabb hence that makes him the target, that’s why.

  53. @fordrandall15,

    Also forgot to say, at least Manning has a sense of urgency when the game is on the line.

    A hallmark of McNabb and Andy Reid teams in general was no sense of urgency and horrible clock management when the game was in crunch time.

  54. Very well deserved honor for McNabb.
    In Eagles history…
    Most games won at QB.
    Most division titles.
    Most TD passes.
    Most yards passing.
    Highest Comp % with over 1200 attempts
    Highest QB rating with over 1200 attempts

    You cannot deny that list of accomplishments. For that he deserves to have 5 retired.

    Sidenote: His top wide receivers not named Terrell Owens are as follows…
    Torrance Small, Charles Johnson, James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, Greg Lewis, Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis, DeSean Jackson.

  55. pixelito says:
    Jul 29, 2013 11:53 AM
    He should’ve beaten the Pats… Instead of driving his team to their first Championship he threw up.

    That’s how I remember him.

    ———————————–

    Well, your memory stinks, then.

    They were down 10 when he threw up. And he still hit Greg Lewis for 6 on that drive.

  56. harrisonhits2 says:Jul 29, 2013 2:24 PM

    @fordrandall15,

    Also forgot to say, at least Manning has a sense of urgency when the game is on the line.

    A hallmark of McNabb and Andy Reid teams in general was no sense of urgency and horrible clock management when the game was in crunch time.

    ———————————————————-
    Sense of urgency? He took a knee with a playoff game on the line, then huddled with his PR team to figure out why he didn’t try to win. Forced by overtime to try and win, he of course gave the other team the ball already in FG range. In Overtime.

    When McNabb lost, he got blamed for being a loser.
    When Manning lost (and continues to lose, eh Denver?) everyone else except Manning gets blamed (idiot kickers, receivers cutting off routes, defensive backs who didn’t do their job, head coaches who are too conservative)

    It gets old.

  57. we had the ball down by three points.

    McNabb spent half a minute with his hands on his knees..
    then he threw an INT.

    Good but not great.. I blame Andy 100%.. We saw what he did when he had weapons…

    The patriots won that game because we didn’t have LBs to stop Cory Dillon.

  58. They will purposely hang the jersey lower and 3 yards away from the other jerseys.

  59. thefirstsmilergrogan says:
    Jul 29, 2013 1:51 PM
    fordrandall15 says: Jul 29, 2013 11:36 AM

    Donavan McNabb 9 Playoff Wins
    Peyton Manning 9 Playoff Wins

    Donavan McNabb 7 Playoff Losses
    Peyton Manning 11 Playoff Losses

    Donavan McNabb 1 One and Done In Playoffs
    (2009)
    Peyton Manning 8 One and Done In Playoffs
    (1999) (2000) (2002) (2005) (2007) (2008)
    (2010) (2012)

    Remind me again why you are insulting one but not the other again?

    dude: as buddy ryan said, “stats are for losers”. and are why i hate fantasy geeks who wouldn’t watch a football game unless there was math to do at the end to see how your players did.

    let me clue you in. i assume you watched peyton (who i don’t like personally but is a great qb) and don play. seeing them both play should tell you why everyone will agree peyton is a first ballot unanimous type hall of famer and most will agree that mcnabb was a good qb at least one tier below the greats of the game. If not, you need to watch more games without a statistical interest.

    a good td/int ratio can mean the guy won’t throw until a reciever is wide open. this hurts the team as the offenses are designed to have those throws on time. but to the stats geeks there is no recognition of this, and you get a person saying mcnabb and manning are relatively equal players.

    Seriously, a win-loss playoff record says more about a quarterback than any other thing in the sport. There are very few bad teams in the post-season, which means there is no place to hide for guys like Manning, who feast on bad teams year after year, then suddenly go one and out when faced with a good opponent, then are hailed as great because they beat the bad teams.

    My whole argument is if every quarterback is judged by playoff success and failure, so should Manning.

    Every other quarterback IS judged by wins and losses in the playoffs EXCEPT for Manning

  60. McNabb will forever be criticized. But many people are for being ahead of the times. At the time he was drafted he was one of the pioneers of the duel threat QB in the modern era of the NFL. He rarely had enough talent around him,and he really boosted the ability of those around him. He gave his heart and soul for this team. Constantly being let down by the front office and his own teammates. Watch that final interception in the superbowl. L.J. Smith was at fault not McNabb but no one cares about a TE. McNabb will forever be a known as a great QB to me. And the definition of hard work and perseverance, and of course Brotherly love.

  61. @johnnyontheclock- Or Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton, or Cris Carter, or any of the 70’s Steelers who got in riding coatails. The numbers don’t lie. There are 3 other QB’s in NFL HISTORY w as many combined passing and rushing yards and all three are in the HOF. He was even the face of the NFL after Aikman and before they started using Manning’s image. Let the voter’s decide, not all the biased philly hatebased ignorance.

    Did he suck after the TO debacle…yes, but prior to that he was definitely in the top handful of QBs in the league wo much wr help. Even Philly beloved Brian Dawkins went to bat for him at his retirement ceremony recalling how grim the Eagle’s years were prior to McNabb’s arrival. I know everyone loves Manning, but the guy is a total zero when the playoffs roll around.

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