It's darn near August, so you know what that means, right?
Yep, time to ask that age-old Vikings question: Does the soon-to-arrive veteran stopgap quarterback have anything left in his aging, recently declining NFL gas tank?
"Oh, yeah, without a doubt," said Randall Cunningham, former Vikings quarterback, referring to Donovan McNabb. The Vikings and Washington Redskins have agreed to a trade that will send the 34-year-old McNabb to Minnesota for a 2012 sixth-round draft pick and a 2013 conditional sixth-round pick.
"Donovan McNabb is in his prime now," Cunningham continued. "So many people don't realize that when quarterbacks get into their 30s, that's really when they start to understand the game. That's when quarterbacks become the Moseses and Abrahams of the league. At no point is Donovan too old to be an elite quarterback."
Maybe Cunningham will be proven right. After all, he was 35 when he had one of his best seasons while leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game during the 1998 season. Eleven years later, Brett Favre was 40 when he had one of his best seasons and led the Vikings back to the NFC title game.
Then again, all bets on McNabb are off at this point. He could resurrect his career inside the Metrodome. Or his career free-fall could pick up smack dab where it left off last season.
Traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Redskins before the 2010 season, McNabb went from the face of a franchise that won five division titles, played in five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl to a guy who was benched twice and essentially thrown away with three games left in the season.
Although McNabb stood on the sideline for the last three games, his low point probably came during a loss at Detroit. Coach Mike Shanahan benched him late in the game and then came out publicly and said McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to run the two-minute offense.
Former Vikings receiver Cris Carter said he expects McNabb to show up in shape.
"I know Donovan, and he takes care of his body," Carter said. "He's just like a lot of other older quarterbacks who have come to the Vikings and done well because all he needed was to get to the right place."
Carter also said the Vikings had no choice but to acquire a veteran quarterback rather than start rookie first-round draft pick Christian Ponder.
"Let's face it," Carter said. "Christian Ponder can't start in the NFL this season. ... He doesn't know anything about the NFL. Unless you want to throw away the season, this is the only solution that makes any sense. This is a solid pro football move."
Former Vikings coach Brad Childress, who helped develop McNabb as offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, echoed those sentiments during an interview on NFL Network.
"Well I know this: When [McNabb] locks his jaw, he can be pretty doggone good," Childress said. "If I know Donovan, he's got a little chip on his shoulder right now, not unlike Brett [Favre] when he came to us from the Jets. He wants to rehabilitate his image. ... He's got a world of knowledge and I think he's still got a good, strong arm. Obviously, [he has] good enough ability to move around to make you miss and avoid."
Cunningham predicted McNabb will bounce back from last year's dismal statistics -- 14 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 77.1 passer rating -- in part because he will be paired with Adrian Peterson and will be playing most of his season indoors.
Like most QBs, McNabb's numbers are better in domes. Heading into his 13th season, McNabb has completed 58.9 percent of his passes overall and 62 percent in domes. His career passer rating is 85.7, but it's 96.5 in domes.
"A quarterback of Donovan's stature, he usually surprises you right when everyone thinks he doesn't have anything left in that gas tank," Cunningham said. "That's when a Doug Flutie, a Vinny Testaverde, a Randall Cunningham, a Brett Favre, a Kurt Warner make their comebacks and shock the world."