PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 20: (FILE PHOTO) Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on December 20, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was reported that Donovan McNabb will be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles on April 4, 2010. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
It's been a topic discussed time and time again, but with Donovan McNabb saying recently that he is targeting 3 teams as a possible comeback destination, it's time to ask the question again.
Would Andy Reid bring back Donovan McNabb?
Why He Would: One theme of the Eagles offseason so far has been Andy Reid taking care of the players who have been here. He gave Todd Herremans and Trent Cole extensions, while also making sure DeSean Jackson finally got the deal he has been looking for. If it really is Reid's last go around with the Eagles, would he use his power to make sure his old pal Donovan got another chance? The Eagles backup quarterback position is a question mark, and unless Reid really sees Mike Kafka as a real option, the team likely would be open to bringing in a veteran backup. They tried to do that with Trent Edwards, but by all accounts he has not looked good so far.
McNabb would be an upgrade because he knows the offense, is familiar with the players, and would already have Reid's confidence. He would also not cost a lot to sign and would certainly bring the Eagles some national attention when he arrived at camp.
If Reid were to bring back McNabb tho, it would be for no other reason than to just give McNabb another chance in the NFL. It would be a favor to a friend, one Reid might be willing to do if he knows he already has one foot out the door.
Why He Wouldn't: The before mentioned attention that McNabb would bring is also a reason Reid will probably not even think twice about bringing in his former quarterback. For the first time in what feels like forever, the mood around the Eagles is a positive one. No one is mad, no contracts need to be taken care of, and with the nightmare of last season behind them, their is a positive atmosphere at the NovaCare. Bringing in McNabb would change that, since it's clear from McNabb's prior stints in Minnesota and Washington that he will not be a happy camper as a back up.
McNabb would likely take an offer for Reid to come in and backup Vick, but deep down he would hope to be the starter. The former Pro-Bowler has never been great at handling the media, and every time he would open in his mouth in Philadelphia it would be a controversy. The last thing Reid needs in his locker room is the same drama that took place last year. Micheal Vick would never publicly complain about McNabb coming in after everything McNabb did for Vick when he first came to the Eagles, but it's hard to imagine Vick would be happy behind closed doors about the team bringing in the franchises all-time leading passer. Vick is a confident player, but no one in the NFL is ever happy about a new backup coming in- especially one that is trying to take his job.
But drama aside, McNabb has not looked good in years. He would still be an upgrade over Edwards, but whether he is an upgrade over Kafka is debatable. He throws a good deep ball, but other then that has not shown over the past few years he is able to make a lot of the throws this offense requires. Maybe his play would improve with him being back in Philadelphia, but is that a risk Reid could take if he is forced to come into the game in the blink of an eye?
Reid will speak highly of McNabb, and would give any team that called and asked about McNabb a good recommendation. But it's hard to imagine Reid actually deciding to bring McNabb back.
One thing is sure tho- if McNabb does come back, he will be the first unpopular backup quarterback in NFL history.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks