Donovan McNabb was at the NovaCare on Monday morning to retire from his NFL career as a Philadelphia Eagle. Just before he took the podium, Jeffrey Lurie revealed even more news about his team’s former quarterback: That McNabb’s #5 jersey will be retired, never to be worn by another Philadelphia player.
The retirement ceremony will take place when Andy Reid makes his return to Philadelphia with his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, on September 19. McNabb will be only the ninth player in Eagles history to be bestowed the honor.
Former teammate Brian Dawkins introduced his good friend McNabb at the NovaCare. An emotional McNabb spoke from the heart about giving his all on the field, his teammates, and his historic relationship with Andy Reid. And he confessed that his greatest regret –not being able to get a parade down Broad Street to celebrate a Super Bowl win.”
To everyone that’s here, everybody that’s watching, to all the fans, I truly love you. I gave everything I had when I stepped out on that field, I never complained. When you see ‘5’, you knew ‘5’ was going to give you what he’s got.”
McNabb continued with words of advice and encouragement for current Eagles players preparing for the upcoming season:
To all you current players that are playing now, play with passion, play with heart, trust the man next to you, understand he’s going to give you what he’s got. “
All told, the numbers from McNabb’s in Philadelphia are staggering. He is the Eagles’ all-time leader in pass attempts (4,746), completions (2,801), yards (32,873) and touchdowns (216). He was one of just four players in NFL history to amass 30,000 passing yards, 200 TD passes, 3,000 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in his career, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers John Elway, Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young. Despite throwing the ball more than any other signal caller in team history, McNabb ranks fourth in NFL history in interception percentage, throwing a pick on only 2.25% of all passes. He’s the winningest quarterback in team history, securing 92 Ws while in Philadelphia.
It’s no question that the honor is deserved for the most prolific quarterback in franchise history. The fact of the matter is that, in a very short period of time, a very bad team began to enjoy the level of success we still expect from the Birds. Not just making it to the playoffs, but making a deep run. 4 NFC Championships. 5 trips to NFC Championship games. 1 Super Bowl. Unlike the brutal years that preceeded McNabb’s time as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback, he led an Eagles team that was fun to watch. Though still alluded by the ultimate prize, the team and its fans enjoyed an unprecedented level of success with McNabb under center.
Do you agree or disagree with the move?
Below is video of McNabb at his retirement.