In news for not making sense this weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles trumped everyone’s card this evening from another drunken Lindsay Lohan fall, and Dr. Dre releasing Red Sox themed headphones (excuse me while I vomit).
If you missed it the Eagles finally traded Donovan McNabb after all these years…to their divisional rivals the Washington Redskins. Let me repeat that for you, the Philadelphia Eagles traded their all-time leader in 5 different statistical categories , that led them to 5 NFC title games and a Super Bowl, to a divisional rival that had issues deciding on what to draft due to needs in all offensive areas. The Eagles just made the Skins job a lot easier and possibly gave them a piece to take them to the top in the division.
I’m not against the Eagles trading McNabb at all, I felt his time had come and past three years ago when the McNabb trade rumors first began. McNabb had a great career in Philadelphia where he passed Ron Jaworski as the team’s leader in touchdowns, passing yards and wins. However it was becoming more and more clear in recent years that the Eagles had gone as far as they could go with him at quarterback. With a possible quarterback Armageddon brewing in Philadelphia, the only smart option was for the Eagles to trade their aging quarterback for draft picks and see what they have in Kevin Kolb, the quarterback of the future they drafted out of Houston three years ago.
Kolb performed well in two games without McNabb this past season throwing for 718 yards and four touchdowns, plus he was in the last year of a rookie deal and the Eagles couldn’t risk having wasted a pick on a quarterback that they thought would be a piece of their future.
However, with that said, why would you trade within your own division? It makes no sense even if it was the best deal on the table for the Eagles. How can you make a divisional rival better while hurting your own playoff chances? Picture if the Yankees wanted to trade Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox or the Lakers trading Kobe Bryant to the Phoenix Suns because they offered the best deals for each player. You don’t think fans and other GM’s wouldn’t scratch their heads and utter “what the heck?”
What it does for Redskins is it makes their lives a lot easier knowing that; A. they can draft an offensive lineman instead of a quarterback this month to better protect who’s behind the line of scrimmage. B. they have a leader in the huddle that they know can go out there and win games for them if need be, and C. they still have the option have drafting a quarterback later in the draft like Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow who can sit for a year or two behind McNabb and get some seasoning.
It would’ve made more sense to trade McNabb to the Raiders or whoever else was available for whatever the price because the deal wouldn’t have affected the Eagles place in their own division. Losing a veteran in McNabb will lower the Eagles shot at the playoffs already, but trading to a divisional foe makes it even harder because now the Redskins became a playoff, and division contender, with McNabb under center than with Jason Campbell, Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford.
With McNabb you can expect the Redskins to win about four more games and the development of Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly could improve dramatically with the experience of McNabb behind center. McNabb made decent receivers out of Jason Avant, L.J. Smith and turned DeSean Jackson into an elite receiver in two years.
The Eagles will survive in production. They still have Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy, who shined in certain instances last year, will see more carries with Brian Westbrook gone (oh I forgot, the Eagles don’t run the football). However, they’ll miss McNabb’s presence in the huddle, off the field and around the community. He was the face of a franchise that suffered through disappointment after disappointment and all the while McNabb stood tall. He performed when he was benched for Kolb last year, when T.O.-gate nearly made him go crazy, when Jeff Garcia’s success made people question his relevance, even from day one when Eagles fans booed him harshly because they wanted Ricky Williams (Eagles fans, you get a fail for that one) McNabb took it all and succeeded. Not nearly as much as he wanted to, but the he carried himself and made Philadelphians respect him more that any Eagle in team history. Now he’s history.
The Eagles made the right move, but to the wrong team. Trading McNabb was bound to happen sooner or later, yet you have to wonder what the effects of this deal will have on the Eagles now, and in the near future. Guess we’ll find out starting next season when the two meet head to head.