Donovan McNabb will have Eagles’ jersey retired
Quarterback will be honored during Sept. 19 game against Kansas City
PHILADELPHIA — Donovan McNabb’s voice cracked and his eyes watered when he stood at the podium to give his retirement speech.
Famously booed when he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, McNabb couldn’t hide the tears when he called it quits 14 years later. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback was back in Philadelphia on Monday to make it official, three years after he was traded from the Eagles and 21 months after taking his final snap in the NFL.
“Special day,” McNabb said. “I’m not one for emotion, but this is pretty tough.”
Before McNabb even took the stage, team owner Jeffrey Lurie revealed that his No. 5 will be retired on Sept. 19 when the Eagles host Kansas City, now coached by Andy Reid, who drafted McNabb.
“The No. 5 has become synonymous with one of the greatest eras of Eagles football,” Lurie said. “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.”
• Connecticut and Massachusetts authorities searched in and around a lake near Bristol, Conn., the hometown of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots player who is charged with murder.
Connecticut police declined to comment on the nature of Monday’s search at Pine Lake in Bristol and referred calls to Massachusetts prosecutors. Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney, would not comment.
• Vonta Leach is back with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
The Pro Bowl fullback signed a two-year contract after being released by the Ravens in June. “I’m excited about it. It’s great news,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ve been in contact, we’ve been talking all along. It worked out great for the Ravens.”
• Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is nicked up again.
Gabbert sprained his right ankle during training camp practice Monday and left the field on a cart. He was seen walking around the facility in tennis shoes and without a limp about two hours later.
Coach Gus Bradley called it “a freak deal.”
“He got up and he walked off, and that’s a good thing,” Bradley added.
Since the Jaguars have Tuesday off, the team says Gabbert will be evaluated over the next 48 hours before determining whether he can practice Wednesday.
• Brad Smith restructured the final two years of his contract with the Buffalo Bills in a move that provides the versatile playmaker a better shot at making the young team’s receiver-stocked roster.
A person familiar with the decision said Monday that the new deal provides the Bills additional salary-cap space and also better reflects Smith’s production over his first two seasons in Buffalo.