On first blush, the Donovan McNabb trade has at least two significant NFC North implications. It ends the long-held speculative connection between McNabb and the Minnesota Vikings, and it also will incrementally decrease Detroit's chances of trading down from the No. 2 overall pick.
First things first.
If the Vikings expressed any interest in McNabb, it hasn't made its way to a public forum. That apparent lack of interest suggests more strongly than ever that they are confident in the 2010 return of quarterback Brett Favre. There are too many reasons why McNabb would have fit in Minnesota to draw any other conclusion.
As we discussed last month, he has a previous relationship with coach Brad Childress and quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers. He also would have made a seamless transition to the Vikings' scheme. While McNabb has his detractors, you can't convince me the Vikings would choose Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels over him, in the short term or long term.
It's true the Vikings didn't have a high second-round draft pick to offer the Eagles, but there would have been ways to accommodate the Eagles if they wanted to make this deal. Childress told KSTP-AM radio Sunday morning that he doesn't know whether Favre will play in 2010, but he must feel pretty good about it to sit out a sweepstakes that ultimately brought the Washington Redskins a Pro Bowl quarterback at a reasonable price.
With the Redskins now set at quarterback, it's hard to imagine they will maintain their purported interest in Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Assuming that's the case, you can remove one team from the list of possibilities to acquire the Lions' top pick at No. 2 overall. As we discussed Saturday, Detroit's best chance for trading down is cultivating a bidding war between Clausen's suitors.
I'm sure we'll have another post or two on this trade as the week progresses -- like, for example, how a Pro Bowl quarterback got traded within the same division. How novel! For now, have a pleasant evening.