Donovan McNabb must have shaken his head as he watched contending NFL team vie for Kyle Orton. The Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and possibly the Dallas Cowboys put in claims for Orton when the Denver Broncos waived him as a victim of Tebow-mania.
Those are the very teams on McNabb's Christmas wish list in his hope to revive his dead-end career.
In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Minnesota Vikings granted McNabb's request to be released now. McNabb may be claimed by any team off waivers in the next 24 hours. Will any team come a'calling?
Orton is six years younger than McNabb. Their statistical performances are near identical for attempts and completions. McNabb has the higher passer rating (82.9), but Orton has thrown for more yards per game and has thrown twice as many touchdown passes (8) as McNabb. At age 29, Orton would seem to have a small career upside. McNabb may be done. He has shown nothing special since leaving Andy Reid's offense.
Thus, Orton has a whiff of cache while McNabb has none. Josh McDaniels traded for Orton after alienating QB Jay Cutler. Orton had two phenomenal years with McDaniels in 2009 and 2010 (41 TDs, 21 INTs). He was benched for Tim Tebow, who can only be described as a force of nature.
McNabb has been benched for Kevin Kolb, a high potential back up, Rex Grossman, a discredited journeyman, and Christian Ponder, a rookie. His 2011 opening game was a 39-yard embarrassment against San Diego. His sixth and last game was his October appearance against the Chicago Bears. That 39-10 beat-down was so painful to watch that McNabb's mother left the stadium during the game.
How serious are teams about McNabb? The Bears signed Josh McCown to a one-year contract to backfill Cutler who may be lost for the season with a broken hand. McCown is no real obsticle, now that I think about it. The Texans signed Kellen Clemens and Jake Delhomme. Texans coach Gary Kubiak is close to the Redskins coaches Mike and Kyle Shanahan. Their thoughts about McNabb are a big influence an his decision. It's unlikely that McNabb returns to the Washington Redskins now that Mike Shanahan has resolved to live with Grossman, warts and all.
With five games left to the season, Donovan's train has left the station.
As a believer in the Snyder jinx, where ill-treated players return to FedEx field to beat the Redskins, I just hope that no team left on Washington's schedule signs McNabb. If that happens, we are doomed. That guy would be dangerous to the Redskins just by sitting on the bench.