The Sports Xchange spoke the last few days to the teams that would appear to be the usual suspects and perceived very little buzz about McNabb, released by Minnesota this week.
At 35, an age that isn't necessarily old by quarterback standards, the six-time Pro Bowl performer might have to wait until the offseason for offers, if they are forthcoming then. The stories that came out of Washington and Minnesota the last two years – concerning McNabb's alleged lack of preparation and conditioning, and "diva" element – aren't apt to help a guy who might have to accept a No. 2 role somewhere.
"People are going to have to look into all those things and make a determination as to whether or not they want him," said an NFC personnel director. "And I can't see it this year."
Making his mark: There was some question before the 2011 draft as to whether DeMarco Murray could handle anything more than a secondary change-of-pace role in an offense, and some doubts even after the Dallas Cowboys tabbed the Oklahoma standout in the third round.
For all his brilliance in college, Murray had an injury-marred career at Oklahoma, and there were skeptics about his ability to be an every-down back. But in his last four starts (he has started five straight games overall), Murray, who battled through some injury problems earlier in the season, has averaged 22.3 carries. And he has registered a pair of 100-yard games in those four outings.
Clearly, Murray is a lot tougher runner than people felt.
"When a guy has the kind of 'long speed' he does, there's a kind of a misperception that he isn't necessarily a physical runner," Dallas left tackle Doug Free told The Sports Xchange. "But that isn't the case with him. He'll bang it up in there … and if he hits a seam and gets into the open, he can take it a long way."
Under pressure: It almost seems that there are as many offensive coordinators on the hot seat as head coaches these days, and it will be interesting to note how many changes are made in the offseason by franchises that don't also switch head coaches.
Dirk Koetter of Jacksonville, operating like most Jaguars coaches on a one-year deal, almost certainly is a goner. Brian Schottenheimer has been under fire for the uneven performances of Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets, but it was recently reported that he quietly received an extension in the offseason. Cam Cameron in Baltimore has caught some flak over the roller coaster play of the Ravens' offense. Ditto Kyle Shanahan in Washington and Detroit's Scott Linehan.
But unless there are head coach changes in some of those spots, the odds are that the coordinators will survive.
"You just don't see many cases like the one in Cincy (where Jay Gruden replaced Bob Bratkowski, even though Marvin Lewis kept his head coach job) a lot," one AFC coach told The Sports Xchange. "Unless it's pretty much (mandated) by the owner, guys usually keep their jobs."
More for Marshawn: Seattle officials were already working on a contract extension for tailback Marshawn Lynch, but his 148-yard performance against Philadelphia on Thursday night might have iced the cake. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks want to run the ball with physicality, and they feel Lynch provides that. Plus they have not perceived any of the alleged immaturity Lynch exhibited during his time in Buffalo. Lynch has now rushed for 100 or more yards in four of his last five games and, even though he is under contract for another season, he has already reached easily-attained incentives that void the final year of his deal and he can become a free agent this offseason.
Short-timer: Only a few months ago, prominent agent Jimmy Sexton merged his Memphis-based firm with that of fellow agent Pat Dye Jr., in Atlanta, to create SportsTrust Advisors. Now comes word that Sexton is making another move, this time to the giant Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which has become a major player in the NFL representation arena, with agents Tom Condon, Ken Kremer and Ben Dogra. The addition of Sexton, who has several key players (like Tim Tebow) but also an ample stable of assistant and head coaching clients in both the NFL and the major college ranks, further broadens CAA's already impressive influence.
Lack of quarterbacks: Even though there are 32 quarterbacks enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this will mark the sixth consecutive year in which a player from the game's most conspicuous position isn't a finalist. When the Hall announced the 26 semi-finalists two weeks ago, it was the third year in a row in which not a single quarterback survived the "reduction" process. Not since Ken Stabler has there been a quarterback among the semi-final group. The former Oakland star actually was on the semi-finalist list three consecutive years, 2007-09, but never advanced to the finalist round. The Hall of Fame hasn't inducted a quarterback since 2006, when Troy Aikman and Warren Moon were selected.
Punts: Although the team won't, and essentially can't, hire a general manager until after the season, the Raiders have begun background work on determining salaries of current league GM's to ascertain how much it will cost to being in someone to oversee the football program. The legwork is necessary, of course, because the team basically operated for so many years without a general manager under the late Al Davis.
The last word: "We're starting to define a little better what we want to be on offense. We can be more explosive and still run the ball with Michael (Turner), and grind it out. It's not an 'either-or' thing, you know? I mean, you can have the best of both worlds, and that's what we're trying to do." – Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White, who has 17 catches for 267 yards the past two games, on the Falcons' offense, which has struggled to find its identity at times in 2011