Looking at McNabb's AFC North prospects
July, 2, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb said last week there's an "an 80 to 90 percent chance" he'll play this season. According to the 35-year-old quarterback, there are three teams that he's considering, although he declined to name them. As ESPN's Adam Schefter pointed out, it could take an injury in training camp before a team considers McNabb.
I have my doubts whether McNabb, who has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings, has anything left. In six starts for the Vikings last season, he threw four touchdown passes and lost five times. It also doesn't seem like McNabb has drawn the interest of his former longtime coach Andy Reid, which should worry teams because Philadelphia needs a No. 2 passer.
Here's how I assess his chances with the AFC North teams:
BENGALS: Not happening here. Cincinnati is set at backup quarterback with Bruce Gradkowski. He is familiar with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's system (he previously played under Gruden in Tampa Bay) and he led a come-from-behind victory in the season opener last year. McNabb's name won't be brought up in any conversation.
BROWNS: It's easy to draw a connection here with McNabb's ties to coach Pat Shumur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress. But bringing in McNabb would add an unwanted distraction for a team looking to start a new era with rookie first-round pick Brandon Weeden. I've never had a problem with keeping Colt McCoy as the backup because he doesn't have a disruptive personality. If McNabb was such a good mentor, the Vikings wouldn't have cut him in early December.
RAVENS: This is one spot where I could see some potential if the Ravens are feeling uneasy about their backup spot later this summer. When Joe Flacco missed the final day of mandatory minicamp for the birth of his son, backup quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Curtis Painter were awful. During one team drill, Taylor and Painter each had an interception returned for a touchdown. Plus, after leading the Ravens to the playoffs the past four years, Flacco wouldn't be threatened by the addition of McNabb.
STEELERS: Don't see much of a fit here. The Steelers already have two experienced backups in Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch, and Pittsburgh has a familiarity with both. In ranking the backup quarterback situations in the division last month, I talked about how the Steelers have the best insurance policy at this position in the AFC North. Leftwich has started 49 games (24-25 record) and passed for 10,260 yards and 58 touchdowns. Batch is 5-2 as a spot starter since joining the Steelers in 2003.
Final Cleveland 10 Baltimore 20 Final Dallas 44 Washington 17 Final Indianapolis 27 Tennessee 10 Final Jacksonville 17 Houston 23 Final San Diego 7 Kansas City 19 Final New York 37 Miami 24 Final Chicago 9 Minnesota 13 Final Buffalo 17 New England 9 Final Philadelphia 34 New York 26 Final New Orleans 23 Tampa Bay 20 Final Carolina 34 Atlanta 3 Final Detroit 20 Green Bay 30 Final Oakland 14 Denver 47 Final Arizona 17 San Francisco 20 Final St. Louis 6 Seattle 20 Final Cincinnati 17 Pittsburgh 27