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Thursday, May 16, 2013
Donovan McNabb: No. 5 team's call

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Donovan McNabb said Thursday he'd "love" to have his No. 5 retired by the Philadelphia Eagles but said that decision is the team's to make.

"That's really not my call. I would love for that to happen but if they don't I won't be upset about it," he said in a radio interview with 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia.

McNabb's No. 5 is already scheduled to be retired by Syracuse.

McNabb mentioned the Eagles' retirement of Brian Dawkins' No. 20 last season, calling it "well deserved." As to whether his number should also be retired, he deferred to owner Jeffrey Lurie.

"Lurie being the great owner of the Philadelphia Eagles obviously took a chance on me and Andy Reid in 1999. That will be Jeffrey's decision as to what the next steps are," he said.

McNabb, 36, said earlier this week that he plans to retire as an Eagle. The team has not made an official announcement. He went 92-49-1 with the Eagles and holds the franchise records for completions (2,801), passing yards (32,873) and passing touchdowns (216).

He clarified Thursday that a date hasn't been chosen for him to return to Lincoln Financial Field.

"I never put out the fact that it was going to be the Kansas City game," McNabb said Thursday. "I don't know where that came out. I said that that I will be retiring as a Philadelphia Eagle and that they will be retiring my number at Syracuse. Everybody kind of speculated the whole Kansas City game."

The Chiefs, and Andy Reid, McNabb's former coach with the Eagles, are scheduled to play in Philadelphia on Sept. 19, a nationally-televised Thursday night game.

"We haven't chosen the date yet. 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," McNabb said.

McNabb said he might return for the Kansas City game, even if that's not the date chosen for his retirement ceremony, just out of respect for Reid.

"He's a great coach. He stuck his neck out for me, drafted me when there were questions about can I play in the NFL. He took a chance on me with the second pick," he said.

Reid said Tuesday he's happy that McNabb will retire as a member of the Eagles.

"Donovan and I talked about that and I'm all for it," he said from the Chiefs' organized team activities. "He's a special guy and I'm glad he's retiring as an Eagle for the first thing, and I'm glad they're giving him a celebration because he deserves every bit of that. He's just tremendous. A good person and a great football player and I had a lot of fun with him. You don't mind coaching those guys, right?"

McNabb led the Eagles to four NFC Championship Game appearances and Super Bowl XXXIX, where Philadelphia fell to the New England Patriots. His time with the team ended unceremoniously, however, when he was traded to the Washington Redskins before the 2010 season.

He last played in 2011, appearing in six games for the Minnesota Vikings before being released and sitting out the rest of that season after failing to find another NFL employer. He attempted to hook on with a team before last season but again went unsigned.