Redskins QB Donovan McNabb May Have to Accept a Backup Role Next Season

The veteran quarterback will have few trade or free agent options once the NFL lockout is over.

Posted: 05/20/2011 07:40 AM EDT
Filed Under Donovan McNabb

Donovan McNabb

Rex Grossman believes when the NFL lockout is lifted he will be the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

John Beck believes the job belongs to him.

Donovan McNabb, the man brought in last offseason to take over, would probably love to jump into the conversation and proclaim the job as his after a turbulent single-season in the nation’s Capital. But McNabb, who was benched twice last season, knows better.

His brief career in a Redskins uniform is over. All either party is waiting for is for the lockout to end so that the veteran quarterback can be traded or released.

But the questions remain: Where is McNabb headed and what role will be assigned to the man who spent 11 seasons as the starter in Philadelphia before last year’s disastrous season in Washington D.C.

There is a good bet that McNabb may have to accept the role of a backup come next season. That is tough to swallow for someone who still thinks of himself as good enough to start in the NFL.

But the reality is there aren’t very many options for a declining quarterback coming to the end of his career. Initially it seemed like the Arizona Cardinals might be a perfect fit because they are in need of a veteran quarterback and the Phoenix area is where McNabb makes his offseason home.

That possibility seems less and less likely as interest seems to grow between the Cardinals and McNabb’s former backup in Philadelphia, Kevin Kolb. The Minnesota Vikings, who are finally done with the Brett Favre experiment, seemed a viable option but they drafted Christian Ponder 12th overall in last month’s draft.

There aren’t any obvious destinations from there. Maybe the Carolina Panthers would be open to bringing aboard a veteran to tutor Cam Newton.

The only thing that seems certain is McNabb will have to adjust next season and perhaps become that guy waiting on the sideline to get his shot.

Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com.

(Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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