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Donovan McNabb calls criticism of his Carson Wentz comments ‘unfair’

McNabb praised Wentz and called himself a “Eagle for life,” but also said fans continue to view him negatively.

Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb during a radio interview during the 2017 NFL Draft. McNabb said the criticism he's received over his comments about Carson Wentz were "unfair."
Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb during a radio interview during the 2017 NFL Draft. McNabb said the criticism he's received over his comments about Carson Wentz were "unfair."Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer / DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Donovan McNabb says all the criticism he’s received from fans and at least one Eagles player over his comments about Carson Wentz is “unfair.”

During an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic Tuesday morning, McNabb called himself an “Eagle for life,” but said fans have a hard time separating his role as an analyst from the 11 seasons he spent as the Eagles’ starting quarterback.

“If I’m an analyst and a question is presented to me, I’m supposed to answer the way I see fit,” McNabb said. “Sometimes when its certain people, we want to judge it or we want to have a different type of emotional feel to their answer because of who it is. And that’s unfair.”

Last month, McNabb was widely criticized for a CBS Radio spot in which he suggested the team should replace Wentz as starting quarterback if he couldn’t lead the Eagles past the second round of the playoffs over the next two seasons.

Among those who called out McNabb was Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson, who referred to the former quarterback as a snake and claimed that McNabb didn’t want to see Wentz succeed.

“I feel there is a lot of envy, jealousy, and I see a lot of fakery,” Johnson said. “You would think the best quarterback in franchise history would try to build up a young man that looks up to him instead of always criticizing him, critiquing him and wishing he would fail so he could be the missing link and feel better himself.”

McNabb, a media free agent after losing analyst jobs at ESPN, the NFL Network, and Fox Sports, made sure to dish out some praise for Wentz this time around. He told his former teammate Tra Thomas that he was in Minneapolis rooting for the Eagles during their 2018 Super Bowl run, and said Wentz deserved a long-term deal, if he can remain healthy.

Wentz, who missed the playoffs with injuries each of the last two seasons, indicated to reporters in April that the stress fracture in his back was still healing. If Wentz starts the season but ends up missing more time due to injuries, McNabb said, fans might start echoing his concerns about the young quarterback’s future.

“People in Philadelphia are going to start rumbling,” McNabb said.

The Eagles exercised Wentz’s fifth-year option last month, keeping him under contract through the 2020 season. Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said during an interview on 94.1 WIP Tuesday that the team planned on signing Wentz to a long-term contract.

“This is something that we are planning to do and if the deal is right for us, and the deal is right for Carson, we wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on that,” Roseman said.

McNabb also noted that many Eagles fans view him negatively, despite his accomplishments with the team. It’s one of the reasons his comments about Wentz were so widely discussed leading up to the NFL Draft.

So does McNabb have a theory why there remains such a disconnect between him and Eagles fans?

“No, not at all,” McNabb said. “I guess I’m in the same category as Eric Lindros.”