The Sunderland midfielder was one of the top performers in last season's dismal campaign, despite only playing a small number of games through injury.
The central-midfielder has showed great promise in his two years on Wearside, and is expected to be a force in the Black Cats' League One campaign next season.
And with 37-year-old John O'Shea nearing the end of his footballing career - although he is expected to play in League One next season - it would be sensible for manager Jack Ross to look for a new man to take over from O'Shea as Sunderland captain now.
McNair, however, has had his injury problems in his two years on Wearside - making only 25 appearances in two seasons for Sunderland. Despite O'Shea likely to remain in the Black Cats defence next season, however, passing the armband now would signal that the club is focusing on the future, and not worried about the issues that have ripped apart the club in the last several seasons.
O'Shea announced his retirement from International football with Ireland earlier this month, and his experience would help McNair during a transitional period to ensure his captaincy on Wearside is a successful one.
Ultimately, manager Ross will have some big decisions to make ahead of the new season. The 41-year-old Scot may choose to stick with his current captain, but at the beginning of a new era on Wearside, it would be an excellent decision to make McNair the new Sunderland skipper.