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History weighs against quarterback Donovan McNabb succeeding with Washington Redskins

It seems weird to think Donovan McNabb will wear a Washington Redskins jersey next season. Actually, it will seem strange for McNabb to wear anything other than a Philadelphia Eagles jersey. Certain guys go with certain cities. When you think of Peyton Manning, you think of Indianapolis. When you think of Dan Marino, you think of Miami. John Elway? Denver. Roger Staubach is Dallas. And despite being a polarizing figure in Philly, McNabb was synonymous with Philadelphia. These things usually don't work out. History tells us that McNabb won't have near the success in Washington that he had in Philadelphia. A quarterback spends years in one place and has a great career. Then he goes to another city and can't quite find the magic. Here's a look back at just a half dozen occasions when a quarterback associated with a city switches teams and how it turned out.

Donovan McNabb

He played 11 seasons in Philadelphia and led the Eagles to five division championships and eight playoff appearances. He made six Pro Bowls, including last season, and is already a borderline Hall of Famer. He is the Eagles' all-time leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns. And he's only 33. The knock? No Super Bowl rings and he gets hurt. If the Eagles had to trade him, Washington is probably a good choice. The Redskins seem a long way from being any good, and McNabb likely won't come back to haunt the Eagles. But why trade him? It's not as if the Eagles have any sure things at quarterback, not with Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. The Eagles are saying they weren't going to get any better than a one-and-done playoff team with McNabb, so why not try something? But the Eagles will get worse before they get better.

Good move? No.

Joe Montana

You know, at the time, shipping Montana out of town was a smart move. Montana played 14 years in San Francisco, winning four Super Bowls and making eight Pro Bowls. But he was starting to break down, and the 49ers were ready to hand over the team to the very capable Steve Young by 1993. It's hard to argue with the results. Yes, Montana led the Chiefs to two straight playoff appearances and made the Pro Bowl in his first season in Kansas City. But Young was a 49ers starter for seven years after Montana was gone. He made six Pro Bowls and led the 49ers to victory in Super Bowl XXIX.

Good move? Yes.

Johnny Unitas

It makes you wince to even think about the great Johnny U playing for anyone other than the Baltimore Colts. Unitas spent 17 seasons in Baltimore and led the Colts to two NFL championships on his way to becoming, arguably, the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. But an injury in a 1968 preseason game was the beginning of the end of Unitas' career in Baltimore as Earl Morrall became the starter. Unitas would play sparingly over his final five seasons and ended up being traded to San Diego for one final year in 1973. The Colts no longer were using him, and it gave Unitas one more year in the league, but it still didn't seem right.

Good move? No.

Brett Favre

This remains one of the most controversial moves in the NFL. No matter how much longer he plays or how many more games he wins or how many more teams he plays for, the No. 4 on the back of Favre's jersey doesn't look right unless the uniform is dark green and "taxi cab" yellow. Favre, who played 16 seasons on the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay, looked goofy in a Jets uniform and downright shocking in the purple-and-gold of the archrival Vikings. The question is: Was it the right move by the Packers to part ways after Favre changed his mind about retiring? In the long term, it looks promising because quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks like the real deal. But in the short term, how can anyone say it was smart? Favre threw a costly interception in the NFC Championship Game in January, but at least the Vikings were in the NFC Championship Game. That's more than Green Bay can say. Good move? No.

Joe Namath

When you think of Namath, you think of the bright lights of New York. Heck, the guy's nickname was "Broadway Joe." He earned that name for what he did on Sunday afternoons at Shea Stadium and what he did on Saturday nights in Manhattan from 1965 to 1976. His most memorable moment, of course, was delivering on his guarantee that the Jets would win Super Bowl III — still the only Super Bowl title in franchise history. But by the time the Jets waived him so he could go to the Los Angeles Rams in 1977, Namath's knees were shot. He played only four games with the Rams, throwing three touchdowns and five interceptions.

Good move? No.

Dave Krieg

You forget how much Krieg meant to the Seattle Seahawks back in the 1980s. Undrafted out of tiny Milton College, Krieg made the team as a third-string, seldom-used quarterback in 1980. But he went on to spend 12 seasons in Seattle, eventually working his way to starter, making three Pro Bowls and leading Seattle to four postseason appearances. Then, after injuries and inconsistency, Krieg was not re-signed as Seattle, in an awful move, turned the team over to Kelly Stouffer. Krieg played another seven seasons for four teams. He led the Chiefs to the playoffs in 1992 but ultimately lost his job to … Joe Montana.

Good move? No.

History weighs against quarterback Donovan McNabb succeeding with Washington Redskins 04/05/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:18pm]
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