What we learned from McNabb's stunning trade to Washington
Five observations about Philadelphia's Sunday night trade of
Obviously, the Eagles aren't worried about McNabb rubbing their face in it the same way Green Bay was desperate to not play against
But apparently not, which speaks volumes about either Philadelphia's level of respect for new starting quarterback
Dealing for McNabb says the Redskins don't have to feel pressured to take a quarterback like
Come what may, McNabb gets 2010 to show where he can take the Redskins, and then we find out how long the relationship might last. Washington probably winds up extending McNabb before he ever takes a snap as a Redskin, because having him play out the final year of his contract isn't the signal you're trying to send with this move. You're getting him because you think he's still one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and he's got another two or three years of playing at a high level left in him.
Does McNabb preclude the Redskins from taking a quarterback of the future in this draft? Definitely not. But it probably isn't good news for Clausen's shot to go fourth overall, unless Washington trades down out of that slot. The Redskins could still trade the 28-year-old
For the Redskins, the move seems to underline the belief that Shanahan, 57, is not interested in having a long tenure in Washington, just a three- or four-year run with a hefty salary, before hopefully turning things over to his son, current Redskins offensive coordinator
McNabb makes the Redskins instantly better at the game's most pivotal position, and maybe the last time Washington had a QB approaching his expertise was when
But, know this, too: The belief that McNabb's departure will leave a giant-sized leadership void in the Eagles locker room simply isn't true. Sources close to the situation in Philadelphia have told me in recent months that McNabb does not have close relationships with the younger Eagles play-makers like
"It's not going to be the huge leadership hole in the locker room that some portray,'' a club source said. "I think guys will miss him to some degree, but it's not as if he was beloved by this particular group of his teammates. The younger guys have only played with him for a year or two, and they're not as close to Donovan as they are to Kolb.''
I'm not ready to say that McNabb's arrival changes the calculus in the NFC East, where I still see Dallas, New York and Philadelphia all having more pieces of the puzzle put together as we await the 2010 draft.
But if nothing else, Washington has to be taken more seriously, having added two proven commodities like Shanahan and McNabb in the past three months. Coaching and quarterbacking are two keys to success in the NFL, and how can anyone not acknowledge the Redskins' have upgraded both areas dramatically since their 2009 season ended? McNabb and Shanahan bring relevance back to the Redskins.
Which team in the NFC wouldn't have traded places with Philadelphia in the past nine years, with the Eagles going to five conference championship games and one Super Bowl? But McNabb had come to personify Philly being consistently good, but never great. And it was hard to see the storyline ever changing dramatically with him still under center for the Eagles.
Yes, McNabb was the greatest quarterback in Philadelphia franchise history, and Kolb faces huge shoes to fill in that respect. But in the end I think
The 2009 Eagles were the perfect example of the maddening pattern that seemingly never ended in Philadelphia. Late in the year, the Eagles looked unstoppable on offense and were easily the NFC's most dangerous team. But then, with a No. 2 seed on the line, the Eagles fell flat in Week 17 at Dallas, dropped to the NFC's sixth seed, and wound up losing again the following week to the Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. One and done.
Maybe in time the Eagles will regret this trade and miss McNabb's winning ways in the regular season. But I understand why something had to change in Philly. The Eagles may not be better right away with Kolb. But it was time to be different. The status quo, as good as it was, wasn't enough anymore.