Donovan McNabb made the media rounds in Tampa before the Super Bowl -- not as often as if he were actually playing in the game -- but enough to make a couple of points he felt needed to be made.
The first is that he wants to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle, to which many fans would say, "That's OK with us. Go ahead."
That's not how he meant it, however. He wants to retire as an Eagle after another, oh, five or six seasons. When he's reached 37 or 38 and has a couple of Super Bowl MVP trophies in the living room, when he has finished the polish on his Hall Of Fame resume. That's when he wants to retire.
To which fans would also say, "That's OK with us. Go ahead."
In between, however, is probably where the truth of what will happen resides. Even if his term lasts just another two or three years but includes a Super Bowl win, most fans would probably accept that bargain.
A bargain, however, is not what McNabb intends to be for the organization. He wants his contract, which has two seasons remaining, upgraded and extended. He wants some assurance that there won't be a repeat of this season's benching -- or at least how it was handled.
It will all be discussed behind closed doors at the appropriate time, according to McNabb, and no doubt it will be. One piece of ammunition he will hold is the assertion by team president Joe Banner this week that the Eagles have no intention of moving past McNabb yet, and that he can't imagine a better guy to run Andy Reid's offense.
As much as McNabb made the media rounds this week, he had nothing on Banner, who was everywhere. Banner did his usual spin-doctoring of the past season: ultimately disappointing, but pretty good if you take a step back and look at it. Banner said nothing that would suggest the franchise will change any of its philosophies or methods for the coming season and the future in general. And if it takes underspending the cap by another $10 million -- as they did this past season -- well, they're willing to do that to prove the point.
To sum up: Donovan wants to be back and wants more money. The team wants Donovan back, but probably isn't that crazy about the money thing. Another season is gone beyond retrieval and the Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl.
So, it's fair to say that most folks in Philadelphia are more interested in where McNabb intends to win his championship rather than where he wants to retire. If retirement is what's on his mind, the sooner the better.