POINT OF NO RETURN
Even with so many NFL teams looking for help at quarterback, the six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XXXIX runner-up has no interest in coming back. At 36, McNabb is content to work in TV and radio—and refine his jump shot.
DAN PATRICK:How significant is winning a Super Bowl to a QB's legacy?
DONOVAN MCNABB: I think too many times we focus on guys who have won Super Bowls. It's just another notch. It's like the Pro Bowl. If you won the Super Bowl, more power to you. Do you think Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer [are] looked upon as great quarterbacks? I don't think so.
DP:If Peyton Manning wins a second Super Bowl, is he the greatest quarterback of all time?
DM: The best quarterback in my eyes is Joe Montana, followed by Tom Brady or Terry Bradshaw. Then you can put in Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning.
DP:Last time somebody called you about coming back?
DM: My wife. She told me come back to the house because I left something.
DP:If teams have reached out to Brett Favre, who knows?
DM: We need to stop talking about Brett Favre coming back. We need to focus on the lack of production from backup quarterbacks.
DP:So you agree with people who said that wasn't a serious inquiry?
DM: His agent, Bus Cook, is a genius. I work out every day. I can guarantee [Favre] ain't down to eight, 10% body fat.
DP:Favre said he fears he's already having memory loss.
DM: We signed up to compete at a high level and be rewarded with lots of money. It's tough, but that's what this game is all about. It's a brutal game.
DP:Do you expect to have issues?
DM: I hope and pray I don't. I've talked to teammates and former players who are battling through a lot of these symptoms. It's tough to swallow, but you have to prepare yourself.
DP:Could you play for the Jaguars right now?
DM: Absolutely not.
DP:No urge to come back?
DM: I don't have to hear the crowd chanting my name. I can get out and play flag football. Play softball. Play in a 30-and-over basketball league. Do something.
DP:How's your jumper?
DM: Outstanding. It reminds me of Ray Allen's at Connecticut. When you get older, there's no dribbling through the legs and trying to run past everybody like Derrick Rose. I'm gonna hit you with two dribbles and pull up in your face and tell you about it the whole game.
DP:Did you ever cover Ray?
DM: I sat third seat from the end [on the Syracuse bench], if you include the trainer. If we happened to be up enough, then I would get in. I don't think Ray would be playing by then.
DP:Let's start a rumor you're coming back and make some news.
DM: I'll go on YouTube and work out with my shirt off.
I asked recently retired Jim Leyland who was the best hitter he managed. "Probably Barry Cabrera," said the former Tigers skipper. "Or Miguel Bonds. However you want to say it ... I will say this: [Miguel Cabrera] has the best opposite-field power of anybody to ever play the game." ... Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski told me he knows pitchers have used pine tar on a ball. "I just haven't seen it firsthand," Pierzynski said. "The best concoction I've seen is sunscreen and rosin. It's like the stickiest stuff on Earth." ... Joe Torre has been mentioned as a possible successor to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, but he has mixed feelings about the job. "I love baseball," Torre said. "If someone asked me to do something to help the game, I certainly would listen. But I'm 73 years old, [and] when you're thinking commissioner you're thinking long term."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
TIM HAWK/SOUTH JERSEY TIMES/LANDOV (MCNABB)
BILL FRAKES/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (LEYLAND)
CHRIS O'MEARA/AP (PIERZYNSKI)
DILIP VISHWANAT/GETTY IMAGES (TORRE)