Free-agent quarterback Donovan McNabb had a one-word reply when asked recently if he believes he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- "Absolutely."
"See, one thing that people don't realize -- I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played the game because I love it," McNabb, a 13-year veteran, told Fox Sports. "I played the game to win. I'm a competitor. When I step out on the field, I feel like I'm the best player on the field."
McNabb has yet to find a job since being waived last season by Minnesota after a 1-5 start. McNabb spent the 2010 season with the Washington Redskins, where he was benched twice. The team finished 6-10, and McNabb later said that coach Mike Shanahan "misused" him.
"Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, 'Oh, he's done, or whatever.' I'm 34, 35 years old, but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career. I played there," McNabb told Fox Sports. "And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame."
McNabb, who turned 35 in November, has not won a Super Bowl ring and says fans don't look at him as a Hall of Fame-caliber player for that reason.
"Peyton (Manning) never won the big game until he won the Super Bowl finally. Dan Marino never won the big game. But does that mean his career is a failure? No. Not at all," McNabb told Fox Sports. "When you sit and look at the numbers -- and that's what it is when it comes to the Hall of Fame -- my numbers are better than Jim Kelly, better than Troy Aikman, better than a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame, but the one thing they do have is a Super Bowl."
In 167 career games, McNabb has completed 59 percent of his 5,374 pass attempts for 37,276 yards and 234 touchdowns. By comparison, Aikman threw for 32,942 yards and 165 TDs but won three Super Bowl rings.
Kelly, who played in four Super Bowls but won none, has career numbers that closely align with McNabb's -- 35,467 yards passing and 237 touchdowns.