McNabb would “love” to have number retired, but defers to team

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Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb will retire as a member of the team that drafted him in 1999.  He hopes that, when it happens, the Eagles will permanently set aside the number he wore during 11 seasons with the team.

“I would love for that to happen but if they don’t I won’t be upset about it,” McNabb told 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia regarding the possibility of the team retiring No. 5.

The Eagles have retired seven numbers, according to the 2012 Official NFL Record & Fact Book:  Steve Van Buren (15), Brian Dawkins (20), Tom Brookshier (40), Pete Retzlaff (44), Chuck Bednarik (60), Al Wistert (70), Reggie White (92), Jerome Brown (99).

“Syracuse is definitely retiring my number,” McNabb added. “I know [the Eagles] retired Dawkins’ number and that was well deserved. He deserved to be retired and no one should ever wear No. 20 again. We’re talking about different things. Everyone will know more information as we continue on. . . . That comes down to Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie being the great owner of the Philadelphia Eagles obviously took a chance on me and Andy Reid in 1999.  That’s will be Jeffrey’s decision as to what the next steps are.”

Speaking of Reid, McNabb has refuted a report that the retirement will occur when the long-time Philly coach returns to Lincoln Financial Field as the coach of the Chiefs.

“We haven’t chosen the date yet,” McNabb said.  “The ceremony is something that we’ve been communicating back and forth.  I want [the retirement ceremony] to be something that is special.  Not only for me but for the fans.  We’re discussing some different things that we want to get done, that I would like to see get done. Everything right now is in the works, nothing is written in stone.  It was just one step of acknowledging that I wanted to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle.  As things continue to break down for the particular event I’ll let everyone know exactly what is going on.”

McNabb also made clear that he’d love for another type of ceremony to happen, in Canton.

“If you ask me and I had all the votes to put me in I would say yes,” McNabb said regarding whether he’s a Hall of Famer.

He doesn’t have all the votes, or any of them. Neither do the rest of us, but we’ll go ahead and run a poll on the topic anyway.

59 responses to “McNabb would “love” to have number retired, but defers to team

  1. I would not be opposed to the Eagles honoring McNabb. He was the franchise QB for nearly a decade and led the Eagles to the playoffs 8 times. 5 NFC title appearances. How many QBs have that on their resume.

    As far as hall of fame, it’s a toss up for me. He lost too many big games and seemed indifferent to losing, but his numbers are worthy of consideration.

  2. I’ll always remember McNabb for throwing an INT to buc legend Ronde Barber and getting returned for a TD.. I’ll also remember him losing the only SB he was ever in. Then the last thing I remember him is for being an idiot on TV. McNabb you do not deserve to get your number retired,

  3. Not even close to a HOF player.
    Good not great.
    I doubt they even retire his number(although kissing up to the owner didn’t hurt)

  4. Great Players get their number retired, not Good/Very-Good players.

    McNabb was a very good QB in his prime, there is not denying that. But he was not a legend who should have the number lifted to the rafters, never to be worn again.

    And the poll asking if he is a Hall of Famer is a riot.

    He is no-where near a Hall of Fame QB.

  5. I remember at one time I actually liked McNabb even though I’m not an Eagles fan.

    The last few years though he’s really outed himself as a self-centered jerk who sure has an inflated view of himself.

    Andy Reid is a miracle worker when it comes to QBs. How he managed to polish this turd is beyond me.

  6. Hof sure maybe but retire number no.You can’t retire every damn good players #. The fact they retired Dawkins’ is laughable. Next they’re going to retire akers’

  7. Donovan was a great Eagle, but this is the only ceremony he’ll be getting for his career accomplishments. He’s not a hall of famer, nor should his number be retired. But that’s okay. Most people don’t get the “one day contract” treatment either, and of those who do, most get off-season press conferences, not gameday ceremonies. Donovan is receiving a high honor and it will be a great day for him and for Eagles fans.

    Let me put it this way: neither Jaworski nor Cunningham had their numbers retired. Yes, Donovan had a better Eagles career than either. No, it wasn’t good enough to be mentioned with the other retired Eagles numbers, who were either champions (like Bednarik), had their careers cut short (Jerome Brown), were one of the best to ever play their position (Brian Dawkins), or a combination of the three (Tom Brookshier).

  8. Classy guy that played great for us. He really helped turn our franchise around. I just wish we would have given him more weapons.

    I certainly wouldn’t want to see anyone else wear #5 for us.

    Thanks for the memories Donovan!

  9. Eagles fans would LOVE for McNabb to have done anything to deserve having his number retired, but alas, it’s not to be.

  10. I watched him when he finally made it to the super bowl, he didn’t seem to have the will to win. It was almost like he became nfc champ and he was ok with that.

  11. His 8 playoff appearances and 5 NFC Championship games, four of them in a row if I recall correctly and one Superbowl appearance, along with most of his stats would almost make it worthy for the discussion–almost. I think from just performance standpoint–Hall of Very Good but not Hall of Fame.

    His number being retired–again, borderline here. I can see it because of what I stated above but then also it’s not like we are talking about someone like Michael Jordan here either. To me, numbers being retired should really be reserved only to those players of greatness; players that when you hear their name you think of their team/s or when you hear their team/s name you think of them. IMO.

  12. He may be the best Eagles QB in history, but he still wasn’t “great.” If he had won a SB then this would be a completely different conversation.

  13. Don’t beat up on his comments. What is he supposed to say? “No, I’m undeserving of any honors.” I think his answers were fine.

  14. He had a few years where he was one of the best QBs in the league, but not enough of those years. The guy gets slammed because the Eagles never won the big one (a lot of which can be blamed on Reid) and because he hung around so long he started to go into a really public decline, but he really had a very good career.

    Also, noooooooooooooooo way he gets into the HOF. Good player, top five QB of the 00s decade, but not great enough to even warrant vague consideration.

  15. I think the groundskeepers around the league for the last couple of years should also be honored for the excellent work in fixing all the divots that McNabb made with his bounce passes into the ground…

  16. last time i checked the player didn’t get to decide whether or not his number got retired or he got enshrined in the Hall of Fame. You’re a Legend in your own mind Donny, that should be more than enough…

  17. mattyk72 says:
    May 16, 2013 1:46 PM
    I remember at one time I actually liked McNabb even though I’m not an Eagles fan.

    The last few years though he’s really outed himself as a self-centered jerk who sure has an inflated view of himself.

    OK, so McNabb thinks he’s a good QB. Big deal. Well, to succeed in the NFL, you kinda have to believe in yourself. You kinda need to have confidence in your ability to play at a high level. So I don’t see why that makes him a jerk?

    If you don’t believe you’re a good QB, then there’s no way you’d ever succeed in the NFL.

    I’m pretty sure Peyton thinks he’s a pretty darn good QB.

  18. 5 championship games, 1 sb appearance, many pro bowl appearances.. id say he def deserves to have that number retired.. and id also say yes to the hall of fame.. he consistantly beat the nyg many ways and i couldnt stand him during his time in philly. lol

  19. Retire number 5.

    Also retire number 12 and number 7.

    Cunningham, Jaws and McNabb are the only Eagles QBs since the NFL-AFL merger to be worth their numbers being retired.

    Make that punk Vick give up number 7 and have some respect for the past.

  20. Not an Eagles fan. I voted ‘yes’ and was shocked to be in the vast minority. Then I went back and looked at his stats. He doesn’t belong in the HoF based on stats and he wasn’t a big game winner. He did led his team to double-digit wins most of the time.

    So there you have it: McNabb was Good to Very Good, but not a Great to Elite QB. Fooled again by the ESPN hype machine.

  21. Who is the genius who even thought of asking him this? You know this egotistical idiot is gonna say yes. Now i’m I scared it might actually happen since it was brought up and he passive aggressively put it on lurie to do so. Throwin up it your helmet and not knowing the overtime rules do not make you worthy of having your number retired or even considered for the HOF.

  22. brenenostler: Just look at the way the guy conducted himself after leaving Philly and especially since he’s become a TV personality. Yes, I think jerk is the perfect way to describe him.

    Yeah I’m sure Peyton does know he’s pretty damn good. Difference is he doesn’t feel the need to convince everyone how good he is.

    McNabb lobbying for himself for the Hall and to have his number retired is just kinda sad.

  23. Not a HOF QB. An good, above-average QB who had some great flashes/stretches. Just like Randall, actually.

    The Eagles have only retired one offensive player’s number. And I’m kind of surprised by that. Wilbert, Harold, Jaws, Quick certainly represent the team at its best. Someone needs to correct this. And I would expect Westbrook to be added in the future. McNabb certainly played well for an extended period for the Eagles so I would not object to him being recognized at a retirement ceremony. But I can’t remember any of the aforementioned ever being so honoured…

  24. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees put up record passing yards, TDs, won NFL championships, and came up big when team needs them.

    Dononvan McNabb in the biggest game of his career kept throwing up because he was out of shape or choked. He couldn’t even run a no huddle offense. That’s the biggest difference between McNabb and these future HOFs.

  25. McNabb has more passing yards than Jim Kelly.

    He has more passing TD than Steve Young and Kurt Warner.

    Only 3 quarterbacks in the history of the game have a better interception percentage.

    He’s #24 in career QB rating (I do recognize guys in the 60s and 70s played under different rules and some of the names ahead of him weren’t all that great).

    My point is why are some of you so incredulous about McNabb? He was dreadful at the end of his career, but that shouldn’t obfuscate the totality of his career.

    And mind you, he had Terrell Owens for less than 2 years and Desean Jackson in his early years. Other than that, he didn’t have Andre Reed, the Greatest Show on Turf or Jerry Rice.

    Again, I’m not saying McNabb is a slam dunk HOF. I’m just saying that he’s been a very accomplished QB, and at the very least, deserves his number retired.

  26. I’m a Giants fan but I don’t get the posters here. Last week a very good player in Ronde Barber is a lock for the HOF but this week another very good player in McNabb is a bum. To people realize how the Eagles were struggling before McNabb got there. The Eagles were never the class of NFC East for more than a year or two at a time before he arrived. The guy had like 1 good WR his whole career and that was only for a year. He’s a much better player than he got credit for and I’m happy he got old because he was dangerous.

    Philly wise he deserves to have his number retired. He definitely as good of Eagle as Dawkins even if less popular.

    HOF wise I thought he was going to be one 3 years ago. But he probably need another year or two of quality play or wining big. He falls into the hall of very good right along with both Barber’s.

  27. “top five QB of the 00s decade, ”


    That is a joke, and a pathetic one at that

    Brady,Roethlisberger,Brees,Manning (P), Favre are all above McNabb. Easily. Unlike McNabb, they did better when it counted and each have rings

    I would also take Warner. There are undoubtedly a few others in there as well. Donovan was good, and rarely great. I wouldnt put him in the top 10 QBs of the 2000’s.

  28. With all his superbowl victories, how could they not?

    Well, it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t have a very good supporting cast around him. Oh, yeah, never mind.

    Really, Donovan? I’m not a philly fan and think you are in delusion-ville.

  29. They won’t retire number, but I could see a statue of him huddle puking or throwing a worm burner

  30. If McNabb had a Super Bowl Ring, he would be a slam dunk Hall of Famer.

    Guys without rings usually need tremendous stats.

    Having said that, I believe that Randall Cunningham belongs in the Hall of Fame because he changed the way the QB position was played.

    As for McNabb? Very solid QB and productive. HOF worthy? maybe.

  31. I really don’t get the hatred that Mcnabb receives. I wonder if Jim Kelly was an eagle would he get the same kind of treatment? Kelly is a legend in Buffalo and he never won the big one either.

  32. brenenostler says:
    May 16, 2013 2:16 PM
    mattyk72 says:
    May 16, 2013 1:46 PM

    I’m pretty sure Peyton thinks he’s a pretty darn good QB.


    There’s a difference. Peyton IS a pretty darn good QB.

  33. I’m not a fan of numbers being retired. I don’t mind if a team wants to hold a number for awhile before reissuing it, but retiring it? Nope. One remembers great players’ #s no matter who wears them afterwards. No matter who would wear #34 for the Bears for example, would anyone think of another player besides Sweetness?

    I think it’s sufficient that Philly is giving McNabb the one day contract and honoring him at a game. And I don’t think he’s a HOFer, but there are guys in the HOF who don’t really belong either like Jim Kelly. I don’t judge on rings alone for sure as I doubt anyone would remove Marino. Kelley had good numbers, never played all that well in big games most of the time. Just like McNabb.

  34. I don’t see why McNabb isn’t deserving of Canton.

    If Jim Kelly is in the HOF, then Donovan is a shoe-in. This is coming from someone who just didn’t like him and has disdain for the iggles and their really irrational fan base. McNabb is the ‘meh’ version of Kelly. Compare the stats of the 2 in the NFL – they are eerily similar. Kelly has 1 more playoff appearance – and also was All Pro one time – as well as 3 more shots at the Super Bowl. Those are the only areas where Kelly wins hands down.

    McNabb’s only achievement over Kelly is being elected 1 more time to the Pro Bowl (6 total vs 5).

    Aside from that, their records, yardage, completion percentage, TDs, etc are all very close. What makes it a slam dunk decision for me is that McNabb’s offensive units aren’t even in the same category as Kelly’s. Kelly played with HOFrs (Lofton/Thomas/and IMO Andre Reed), McNabb had TO for a bit and almost won a Superbowl with him – that’s it.

    Those Bills teams with Kelly are far and away superior to the Eagles teams with McNabb.

    I don’t ‘get’ the hate for McNabb. Yeah, he never won the “big one” – and neither did Kelly – yet Kelly was a first ballot HOF’r. He won a heckuva lot of football games and lost a lot of critical ones – like Kelly. He was one of the faces of the NFL for a long time and then became the most hated QB in the league. I don’t get it.

    One final criteria is, McNabb was one of the top QBs of his era (top 5 most years of his prime). I see his career just like Kelly’s and I think he’s deserving of the HOF. McNabb willed that ballclub to a LOT of great wins.

    Take a minute and look up his career and take an open mind to it. He’s one person that changed my mind – Kurt Warner being the other.

  35. McNabb was a very good NFL QB, but that’s not enough to get him to the HOF. You can’t elect every player who has a good 5 year stretch. You can put him in the Eagle HOF if you like, but Canton? I don’t think so.

  36. I expect he will not actually make the Hall of Fame, but his case is much stronger than most people are saying, for the reasons mcba1n laid out. His passing numbers are remarkably similar to Jim Kelly’s, and when you account for his rushing (29 TDs, 5.7 yards/carry) he was clearly more productive than Kelly. Both obviously had mixed records in big games. McNabb played in a more explosive offensive era, especially towards the end, but did not have the benefit of Kelly’s supporting cast. Warren Moon is also in the Hall of Fame, and while he started 50+ more games and has higher cumulative totals, McNabb’s peak at the very least matches Moon’s.

    All that being said, I don’t think McNabb will make it, and that’s fine, taken as a whole I do see him more as a Hall of Very Good than Hall of Fame player. I expect he will suffer in comparison to the guys he competed against who actually won a Super Bowl (or two or three) like Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees and the Mannings. He will also be at the leading edge of QBs who see their stats discounted due to the league wide increase in passing, though this may not be entirely fair to McNabb. Much of his career preceded this, and it’s not like he was playing with great receivers during the first half of his career.

    In summary: Yeah, he probably won’t make the Hall, but his case is hardly laughable.

  37. I see him as a guy who belongs in their ring of honor (if they have one), but definitely not the Hall of Fame. As far as retiring his number that’s up to them. They haven’t retired Ron Jaworski’s number… on the other hand retiring Jerome Brown’s number was mostly sentimental, so I’ll just leave that to the Eagles… it’s a close call.

  38. For most of his career at Philly, McNabb had very few weapons to work with. Add to that the perennially awful O-line, and sure his numbers aren’t up there in HOF range. For sheer guts however, they may want to remember him in Canton. He was booed by the Philly faithful at the draft. He was booed every time he missed a pass opportunity. He played a game on a broken ankle and that didn’t count for anything. But he also puked on the field, and the Eagle’s fans never let him forget it.

  39. The guy at least deserves consideration. There were many years when every team feared playing against him. He carried that team with the likes of Fredex.

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