For years it was no secret that Vikings head coach Brad Childress had a world of respect for McNabb, whose development as a pro was tied into Childress being viewed as a viable head coaching candidate with the Vikings. Shortly after getting the job, Childress was integral to the trading of Daunte Culpepper and the drafting of Tarvaris Jackson. Childress would make comparisons between Jackson's progress at stages of his professional maturation and McNabb's early development.
Unfortunately, Jackson has never lived up to the lofty comparisons. But, at the same time, Childress never lost his head coaching man-love for McNabb. He knew the kind of playmaker McNabb is.
Despite having never won a Super Bowl title, McNabb's success as a quarterback should get him into the Hall of Fame conversation when his time arrives for potential induction. Compared to what the Vikings had at their disposal during the Childress Era – a parade of pedestrian quarterbacks in Brad Johnson, Jackson, Brooks Bollinger, Kelly Holcomb and Gus Frerotte – a year ago the Vikings might have agreed to terms near to what the Bears gave Denver for Jay Cutler. Two No. 1's might be a little stiff, but a first-, second- and fourth-rounder spread over two years would have likely brought McNabb, not Favre, to Minnesota last year. Whether old fishing buddies Childress and Andy Reid ever discussed such things isn't known, but it would have been a tempting offer – even on the heels of giving up a draft ransom for Jared Allen the year before.
Instead, the courtship of Favre began and culminated with him joining the Vikings and bringing them to the doorstep of the Super Bowl. McNabb became an afterthought … until he suddenly became available in trade over the last week or so. Favre again found himself in the center of the storm. Do the Vikings make a run a McNabb, seven years younger than Favre, to run an offense that he knows just about as well?
All indications are the Vikings made no effort to seriously consider a trade. It would also seem clear that the Eagles didn't find any other serious takers for the trade proposal. If they did, why would they trade him within their own division? The Eagles have a good track record of success against the Redskins and, considering the Giants and Cowboys are always battles, getting two wins against Washington just got considerably more difficult.
If Favre decides this summer that he doesn't feel up to coming back, those with 20/20 hindsight will be all over the Vikings for doing nothing when McNabb became available. Much like Favre himself, a player with McNabb's track record doesn't come around every day. If Favre does return, the Vikings can say they knew he was coming back. They have rolled the dice in their faith in No. 4 being back for a second show. For their sake, let's hope they were right.