McNabb’s Next Contract
Lately there has been a debate about what McNabb is worth to the Redskins going forward. Now part of the problem is McNabb is overhyped (and there really isn’t any question about that). The other problem is that the Redskins invested a lot to get McNabb, and they can’t just let him walk away this offseason and get nothing in return. Which unfortunately gives McNabb a ton of leverage, as does the fact that teams will always overpay for quarterbacks (see Matt Cassel).
Now I’ve always been a Donovan McNabb fan going back to his Syracuse playing days, but he is hardly a quarterback you invest Manning-Brady money into, or sign for 4-6 years. McNabb has always been a playmaker, with his cannon arm and his exceptional mobility, but he has always had the drawback of being inconsistent. McNabb has the ability to hit 60 yard strikes, but he will also miss on quite a few occasions.
And while McNabb has always been a mobile quarterback, it has also gotten him into trouble as he has been sack happy (which in the past has led to being fumble happy). Now sacks aren’t always the end of the world (depends on the situation, fumbles though are another story), as plenty of top notch quarterbacks will get more than their share of sacks each year. What is a problem is that most of those quarterbacks (Rivers, Roethlisberger etc.) complete a much higher percentage of their passes. McNabb already wastes so many additional plays with incomplete passes that when you add the sacks into the picture they really take away from his big play ability.
As it stands now here is where McNabb ranks among eligible quarterbacks in a number of key categories:
Attempts: 8th (215)
Completions: 13th (125) not that good considering the number of players with less attempts above him
Comp. %: 26th (58.1%) obviously pretty bad, and a BIG drop off from the Manning’s and Brady’s of the league.
Yards: 6th (1561) really good, and above his attempts ranking
Yards per Att.: 11th (7.3) pretty good, his number gets dragged down by his low comp. % number
TD’s: 26th (5) really bad, some of this is tied to his receivers or playcalling, but he has missed his share of receivers in the end zone (or streaking there)
INT’s: 13th (5) not bad overall, esp. compared to his attempts, but is bad in comparison to his touchdowns
1st down %: 26th (31.6) not a good number at all, and brought down significantly by his Completion Percentage
Rating: 24th (78.8) not good at all, and really shows that McNabb hasn’t been efficient enough for the Skins
The Sports Bog yesterday compared McNabb to Jason Campbell specifically in ‘Clutch’ situations and the results weren’t kind to the Donovan Kool-Aid drinkers. McNabb’s numbers late in the game are just as bad (if not worse) than Campbell’s (including 3 sacks). Also the post shows that Campbell’s numbers the past two seasons under Zorn were superior through 6 games, than McNabb’s under Shannahan’s. What isn’t noted is that last year especially, but in reality both seasons, Campbell played with a far worse offensive line than McNabb has. Now I’m not trying to say that Campbell is truly better than McNabb, but he is quite a bit younger and costs only 1/4 the price. Sure he is struggling in Oakland (who isn’t), but I would imagine his numbers would be quite a bit improved in Washington and more in line with his career numbers. Now Redskins fans want better than Campbell’s career numbers, and they are right they deserve better, the problem is they are getting those numbers and paying a much higher rate.
Now we can’t change history and go back and not overpay for McNabb, but the Redskins can hold the line this offseason and pay McNabb what he is worth, and not what he and his fans perceive he should make. Adding another bloated long term contract doesn’t help Washington, next year and going forward as the Salary Cap returns. The Redskins have holes up and down their roster, and due to trades lack the premium draft picks to fill them. Since Washington needs to be active in free agency, they can’t afford to tie up too much money in McNabb going forward. The max deal I’d do for McNabb is 3 years $13 million a year. If they add in a few bonuses, no big deal. But can we really justify paying McNabb more going forward, if all we will get are below average numbers.