Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Updated: January 24, 7:25 AM ET
McNabb reportedly has several gripes with Eagles

ESPN.com news services

Will Jeff Garcia be back in Philadelphia next season? More importantly, does Donovan McNabb want to be back?

John Clayton's take
The Eagles won't trade Donovan McNabb under any circumstance. McNabb will be the Eagles' starting quarterback this year. The fact a story came out indicating McNabb is unhappy is a sign that Jeff Garcia probably won't be back. If Garcia is considered a threat to McNabb, it's probably better to let him go to a team such as Tampa Bay or somewhere else. The Eagles aren't going to build their future on a 36-year-old quarterback. McNabb is the leader of the team. They will work out their problems with him. Blog

Citing people close to the injured star quarterback, The Trenton Times reported Tuesday that McNabb is unhappy with several things that have happened with the Eagles since his season ended with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Some of McNabb's reported gripes:

• McNabb reportedly is unhappy that Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't allow him to travel with the team to New Orleans for the team's playoff game against the Saints. The Eagles have a rule that players on injured reserve don't travel with the team.

• McNabb also reportedly might be getting the feeling that some with the Eagles might prefer Garcia as the team's starting quarterback after Garcia led Philadelphia to the playoffs and a postseason victory after McNabb's injury.

• And McNabb also reportedly isn't happy with how his mother has been portrayed in the media and by Eagles fans for comments on her blog on his Web site. She wrote that watching the Eagles win without McNabb was "bittersweet."

On Tuesday, Reid dismissed reports that his star quarterback is unhappy with the organization.

"I think that people are making a lot of things up here that aren't true," Reid said in a conference call. "That's how it works. I just hate to see people making things up that aren't really true."

McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, told the Philadelphia Inquirer those rumors are not true.

"None of these stories quoted him," Smith told the Inquirer. "They're all quoting sources close to Donovan. They claim to know what he thinks and what he's feeling. Who are these people? I don't know. I think there should be some level of responsibility in getting his side of the story before printing some of this stuff. It's sensationalism, and I guess it sells newspapers."

Garcia is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. One former teammate told The Trenton Times that he doesn't envision Garcia returning to the Eagles as a backup.

"I know Jeff and I know how he is," the unnamed former teammate told The Times. "After the way he played -- what was he, 6-1? -- and then he won a playoff game. He's not going to be happy being a backup again. He's way too much of a competitor for that. He should be going to the Pro Bowl the way he played. He knows that. Now, you want him to be a backup, and get paid like a backup. That's not going to happen."

As for the decision to cancel the news conference last Friday, Reid insisted it was his choice because he wanted McNabb to focus on his rehab for a knee injury sustained Nov. 19.

The Eagles' rollercoaster of a season ended with a gut-wrenching 27-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints in an NFC second-round playoff game, leaving Reid, his staff and players to ponder so many near-misses and what-ifs.

Philadelphia's season began with so much promise after a 4-1 start. McNabb was back to playing at an MVP level after Terrell Owens and a sports hernia disrupted his 2005 season, and the rest of the team hopped on his broad shoulders.

Then came a three-game losing streak, including a last-second loss on a 62-yard field goal by Tampa Bay's Matt Bryant. It seemed to get only worse when McNabb tore a knee ligament in Week 11. Hardly anyone expected much from the Eagles after a 24-point defeat at Indianapolis a week later left them at 5-6.

But Garcia rallied his teammates to five straight wins, the NFC East title for the fifth time in six years, and an 11-7 finish.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.