The Philadelphia Eagles held a press conference on Monday for quarterback Donovan McNabb to officially retire as a member of the Eagles, but franchise owner Jeffrey Lurie did one better. Lurie said the Eagles would retire the quarterback’s No. 5.
The number will be officially retired at halftime on Sept. 19 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Perhaps, the Eagles chose that game on purpose as the man who drafted McNabb, Andy Reid, will be there on the other sideline as the Chiefs head coach. McNabb played his first 11 seasons under Reid.
During the press conference, the Syracuse product thanked his former teammates and got choked up talking about his former coach.
"Eleven great years," McNabb said according to NFL.com. "We made history, big fella."
No. 5 will become just the ninth number to be retired by the Eagles, which is quite a feat for the quarterback since the Philadelphia Eagles have existed since 1933. McNabb’s former teammate safety Brian Dawkins, No. 20, was the last Eagles player to have his number retired.
"The number 5 has become synonymous with one of the greatest eras of Eagles football, and ensuring that no one else will ever wear Donovan's number, we honor one of the greatest playmakers to ever wear an Eagles uniform," Lurie said according to the team's website.
McNabb played 11 of his 13 seasons in Philadelphia, leading them to five NFC East titles, five NFC Championship games, and one Super Bowl appearance. The quarterback finished his career in Washington and Minnesota, spending a season with each team, before sitting out the 2012 season.
Although the accolades seem endless for the six-time Pro Bowler, who passed for 32,873 yards and 216 touchdowns, Eagle fans will likely remember McNabb never won the big game. McNabb again apologized to Philadelphia, which he did after being traded in 2010, for failing to bring the city a Super Bowl.
Despite never winning the Super Bowl, McNabb will be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks of his era. He retires in the NFL’s top 25 quarterbacks all-time in wins (12th), passing yards (17th), passing touchdowns (22nd), completions (14th), and passer rating (24th).
Eagle fans voted for McNabb to be the team’s starting quarterback on the 75th anniversary team.