Sunday, April 4, 2010
What Are The Eagles Thinking?
The Eagles finally traded Donovan McNabb, and still managed to screw it up. After an offseason of speculation that came to a full boil in recent weeks, McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins for the Redskins' 2nd-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft (37th overall) and a conditional (either 3rd- or 4th-round) 2011 pick.
As I've previously said, the combo of McNabb and Andy Reid was never going to win the Super Bowl. Reid has never put together an offense that completely maximized McNabb's abilities. Whether it was the lack of a running game, a meager receiver corps, lousy playcalling or absymal clock management, something was usually missing at critical times -- the Tampa Bay and Carolina NFC title games, the Super Bowl against the Patriots -- and that was never going to change with Reid still in charge and McNabb at quarterback.
And with the Eagles not only not making efforts to sign quality free agents but, in fact, releasing or trading players and stockpiling draft picks, leaving the team right now in even worse shape than it was after the season-ending double debacles at Dallas, it was clear that keeping McNabb with an Eagles team that is obviously rebuilding (though they refuse to say so) would be unfair to him.
So, regardless of whether you think Kevin Kolb is ready to take the starting reins -- and, by the way, I guess this means dog-killer Michael Vick will be around for another season -- how is this a screwup? Simple. By trading McNabb to the Redskins, they've strengthened a divisional opponent. The Redskins have had quarterback issues for years. Now they have a legitimate quarterback (along with a legitimate coach in Mike Shanahan) and will become that much more difficult, if not dangerous. You think McNabb won't be extra psyched for the two games against the team that traded him? The Eagles fiddled around while possible trading partners went in other directions to try and fix their QB messes. I'd hate to think what would have happened if Washington didn't want McNabb.
Things could change with the upcoming draft, but right now this seems to be building up to a sub-.500 2010 season. Kolb has been around a few years but is still inexperienced. The offensive line is a mess. The defense should be declared a disaster area at this point. There's no salary cap now thanks to the mess that is the final year of the collective bargaining agreement but the Eagles are getting rid of expensive salaries left and right. Between that and their usual TV, ticket and merchandising revenues pouring in, they will make a very nice profit this year. But will they be a contender? I'm not seeing it.