Assessing McNair's move to Ravens


Reaction from columnists to the Steve McNair trade.

David Climer

The Tennessean

It's time to let bygones be bygones.

Steve McNair is gone.



Turn the page. Close the book. End the story.

We all saw this coming - you, me, McNair, Bud Adams, even Brian Billick. When McNair ended last season as damaged goods with a big contract figure coming due, his days with the Titans were numbered.

For the Ravens, McNair fills an immediate need. He arrives in Baltimore as the No. 1 quarterback, stepping ahead of Kyle Boller, who has thrown more interceptions (32) than touchdowns (31) in his three NFL seasons.

But McNair packs plenty of baggage, too. Both franchises are playing risky business.

The Ravens are taking on a quarterback whose best days are behind him - and they're paying top dollar to do it. Certainly, swapping a fourth-round pick is not going to make or break Baltimore, but the one-year financial commitment to McNair is extraordinary.

Also, the Ravens are telling Boller that they have lost faith in him. He becomes just another first-round bust for a franchise that has struggled to regain traction in the last handful of years.

The real irony here is that this deal may very well define the job security of the Titans' Jeff Fisher and the Ravens' Billick. Two guys that really can't stand each other are playing a game of chicken.

Joe Biddle

The Tennessean

Steve McNair likely will have the same problems in Baltimore he has had in Nashville.

McNair still has shelf life left as an NFL quarterback, but will he be able to stay healthy enough to be the Ravens' quarterback for all, or most, of the 16-game regular season? Certainly McNair will play with an enormous chip on his shoulder, trying to show the Titans that they made a mistake.

When he signed with the Ravens, Derrick Mason never dreamed he would catch another pass from McNair.

"But as fate has it," Mason said, "we're back together again."

The Ravens' gain is the Titans' loss.

John Clayton

It took awhile, but Steve McNair is headed to Baltimore for what is believed to be a fourth-round choice, which is a steal if the team makes the playoffs.

Terrell Owens going to Dallas might be the headline acquisition of the offseason, but McNair heading to Baltimore isn't far behind. In many ways, McNair carries more weight than Owens because he's a quarterback. If he's healthy, you can pencil in two or three additional wins for the Ravens.

Adding McNair makes the Ravens the AFC's sleeper team for the playoffs. Ravens president Dick Cass caused a few people in the front office to squirm when he spoke about the Ravens' future before some prime season-ticket holders. He talked about the Ravens' finances and said there was a two-year window for the team to win.

Quietly, the Ravens have been stacking the roster with big-name veterans over the past couple of years for some kind of run.

McNair would be the 14th current or former Pro Bowl player on the roster if the trade goes through, and he would be the most important.

Despite his age (33) and health, McNair would be the missing piece.

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