Sunday, April 4, 2010
How does McNabb deal reshape division?
By Dan Graziano
We knew the Philadelphia Eagles wanted to trade star quarterback Donovan McNabb, but most of us never dreamed he'd end up in a Redskins uniform. Well, the unthinkable scenario came true on Easter Sunday evening.
The Eagles sent McNabb to their division rivals in exchange for the No. 37 overall pick in this month's draft and a conditional third- or fourth-round choice in 2011, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. According to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't want to send McNabb to a team such as the Bills or Raiders against his wishes. And so the Eagles found an unlikely home for McNabb with the Redskins.
This deal will affect both franchises for years to come. For the Eagles, it officially signals the beginning of the Kevin Kolb Era. He's been waiting in the wings since being selected in the second round of the '07 draft and now he'll be the unquestioned starter heading into 2010. It's something a lot of Eagles fans have been yearning for, but even the most vocal McNabb critics probably hoped he'd at least find a different division.
For the Redskins, they now have a legitimate top-10 quarterback. Now, there's no pressure to select Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen at No. 4 overall. It's the first blockbuster move for the Mike Shanahan-Bruce Allen regime. McNabb gives Shanahan's offense instant credibility, and now they can focus on finding someone to protect his blindside.
Just to make this night a little nuttier, maybe Shanahan can go ahead and sign ex-Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams. This is one of those trades that's just not supposed to happen in this league. The last thing the Eagles want to do is to make one of their rivals a much stronger team, but that's probably what they just did.
Were the Redskins a quarterback away from being a playoff team? Probably not, but McNabb is capable of starting and playing really well for the next two or three seasons. It's hard to imagine him in a Redskins uniform, but we're about to see how it looks. There are players on the Eagles' roster who've told me they'll have a better shot at winning it all with Kolb at quarterback. I think it's way too premature to make that type of statement.
McNabb led the team to five NFC title games and a Super Bowl appearance. No matter how much fatigue had set in with fans, you can't deny his positive impact on the organization. I think a lot of Eagles fans were so ready to see him go that they wouldn't have begrudged him winning a Super Bowl title with another team.
But the Washington Redskins? That's a completely different story. Quite simply, this is one of the most shocking trades in NFL history. You have a quarterback still playing at an elite level being traded to a division rival. I hope Kolb enjoys the honeymoon, because you never know how long it will last.
We'll have commentary and reaction to this story throughout the evening and I'm sure it will be our focus Monday. Stay with us for continuous coverage of a monumental story.