Donovan McNabb is working out, 'waiting for opportunity' to return to NFL

McNabb isn't ready to call it quits. (Getty Images)
Donovan McNabb is 35 years old. He's played for 13 NFL seasons, six times earning Pro Bowler honors, though he hasn't performed at that level since 2009, his last year in Philadelphia. He's since been traded to the Redskins, where he lost his job to Rex Grossman, and later signed with the Vikings, where he was eventually benched in favor of rookie Christian Ponder.

Now a free agent, we last heard from McNabb in April when he stated unequivocally that he was a future Hall of Famer.  But if he gets his wish, we'll have to wait more than five years to find out if Hall of Fame voters agree with him. That's because the former second-overall pick in the 1999 draft still has designs on playing.

"I sort of have some unfinished business," McNabb said during a Friday appearance on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "I love the game, I have a passion for the game, and I look forward to continuing that on."

To that end, McNabb said he's been keeping in shape and working on his fundamentals in case an NFL team comes calling.

“I’ve been training hard and preparing myself out in San Diego working with George Whitfield, the obviously well-known quarterback guru, supposedly, for over the past month,” McNabb said via ESPN by way of PFT. “Just kind of refining the skills, working on the mechanics and getting back to a high level, an elite level. I’m just waiting for the opportunity to display that.”

Whether he gets that opportunity is another story. For all he accomplished during his time with the Eagles, McNabb was a shell of himself during forgettably brief stints with the Redskins and Vikings. Despite the inevitable questions about his diminishing skills, McNabb doesn't lack confidence.

"Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, 'Oh, he's done, or whatever.' I'm 34, 35 years old, but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career. I played there," McNabb said in April. "And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame."

In a league where veteran quarterbacks Jake Delhomme, Jeff Garcia, Kyle Boller, Charlie Batch and Mark Brunell were all on NFL rosters last season, it's reasonable to conclude that McNabb would get another chance. But the perception has always been that he wanted to be a starter.

While we applaud McNabb's confidence, the reality is that at this stage of the proceedings he's a backup at best. Put differently: no team is interested in building around an over-the-hill quarterback. Well, unless you're the Browns.

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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