Good or Bad?
Today will be a special top five, where I look at five reasons why McNabb's trade was a good thing or a bad thing for Eagles fans.
Lets start with the BAD:
1. Kevin Kolb is largely a X Factor. Sure, everyone lauds his two games last season when he threw two 300 yard games in a row, but so what? Week two, he also had THREE interceptions, along with those 300 yards against the Saints. He threw his second game against the Kansas City Chiefs - I could have thrown for 300 yards that game. Anyone remember Bobby Hoying? This situation reminds me of a lot like when everyone thought he was our "savior".
2. Why would the birds trade to a division rival? Lets just imagine that the birds do know something we don't know. Lets imagine that the front office just "feels good" about beating the 'skins. McNabb is going to do everything he can to win that game. Sure, football players always want to win games, but McNabb is going to be like Jaws in "Jaws: The Revenge": This time it's personal.
3. "Rebuilding": The front office won't say that, but they are just lying to themselves. This is officially a rebuilding year. The Eagles have two players over 30 years old, and both of them are the kickers (Akers / Rocca).
4. Leadership: Who leads the team now? Reid mentioned DeSean Jackson as a leader on the team. Really? The guy we drafted two years ago? Westbrook, McNabb, Dawkins, Trotter - gone. That, folks, is going to be the hardest thing to replace. Talent only takes a football player so far (i'm looking at YOU Shawn Andrews), there has to be a drive, a motor, to PLAY. My brother said it best yesterday, "If I was Reid in the next draft, I would be looking for guys with the best skillset AND the motor to play football." Vince Papale may not have been the most talented of Eagles players, but he had the most heart.
5. Welcome to mediocrity! You can love him or hate him, but the stats for McNabb show a guy who has been a winner. He didn't do it alone, but the Eagles could have traded Kolb away, extended McNabb's contract for three years and looked for another pet QB project in this draft. If you remember Kolb was drafted as insurance. I don't think the Eagles were really looking for their QB of the future, they were looking for their poor man's Jeff Garcia. Draft a new QB to take over if McNabb has another of his season ending injuries or misses multiple games. So, we took a guy who is largely proven and replaced him with someone largely unproven. Good job!
Top 5 Reasons Why It Was A Good Thing:
1. The draft is a crap shoot. But, the Eagles now have the 24 (1st), 37 (2nd), 55 (2nd), 70 (3rd), 87 (3rd), 105 (4th), 121 (4th), and 137 (5th) picks in the 1st half of the draft. This is the deepest draft in years, you are going to have guys in later rounds that have a lot of potential. Even if half of those picks pan out, you are looking at a lot of guys that could be starters. No team ever drafts a "perfect" draft, but most people would agree that the Eagles front office has been better than most other NFL teams at finding talent in later rounds in the Reid era.
2. Kolb is a fresh start. Sometimes you need to trade away talented guys to break out of a rut. When the Phillies traded Abreu to the Yankees for no-name prospects at the time the Philly fans & media went ballistic. It wasn't until later that most people realized that the Phillies cleaning house was good for the franchise - because we picked up THIS GUY to replace him. So before everyone judges the trade, lets look at the Eagles two years from now, and see what the draft picks turned into. I don't think anyone would complain if the 2nd rounder we got from McNabb turned into the equivalent of a DeSean Jackson on defense.
3. The Devil You Know. As much as trading him to a rival could be bad, you are also talking about a coach, Reid, who knows his QB's weaknesses. Each time we play the Redskins, I fully expect that Reid will unleash every trick he has to rattle McNabb. Our defense will know McNabb's play calling, mannerisms and ticks. It says a lot when the front office makes a bold move like this - they are clearly stating that McNabb (on the Redskins) doesn't scare them.
4. McNabb was good, but comes up short in big games. You can't take away from what the stats said, but what separates good players from great players are championships. We can sit here all day and claim how great the Eagles have played under McNabb, but what people remember are trophies, not statistics. The Eagles have, for years, been always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Think about how many key, critical losses the Eagles, under McNabb, has choked up and it makes you almost scream. The Super Bowl was a game where the Eagles could have won by 6-14 points if McNabb didn't throw three interceptions & understood the "hurry up offense".
5. You get value for McNabb. Let us imagine if the Eagles didn't trade anyone. Let us imagine we have three QBs going into next year, and all three have 1 year left on their contracts. The season ends and then what? You have three QBs that are all free agents and the Eagles are scrambling to woo McNabb or Kolb for a long term deal - or headed into a draft with their hat in hand looking for a QB. Or, lets say the Eagles waited until after the draft and then waited too long and are forced to trade away either Kolb or McNabb for a bad deal. No one is going to say that this was a bad deal for the Eagles. Sure, the "Boo Birds" would cry that we should have gotten a 1st round pick for the next three drafts for McNabb, but they are the knuckleheads from the 700 Level that start booing the Eagles as soon as things go sour.
If I were in charge, I would have not traded McNabb. I would have traded Kolb to get value for him, extended McNabb's contract for three years and looked for a pet project in this draft. I think that even with my reasoning above, McNabb gave the Eagles the best chance to win NOW, with the new offensive and defensive prospects that we would have surrounded him with. McNabb had some faults, but I have a hard time believing that Kolb is the answer for the Eagles for a Super Bowl trophy. I will GLADLY eat my words, but after years of hearing Andy Reid laud players like Na Brown (best hands in football!) and Todd Pinkston - I seriously question their faith in Kolb.
I wouldn't be shocked if the Eagles don't extend Kolb's contract until mid-season. I think the Eagles are on a wait-and-see right now, and if Kolb has a bad season, then they would look in 2011 to draft the QB of the future. If this week the Eagles offer Kolb a five year mega-deal then they are really in love with this guy. I just don't see it happening. I think they will wait until game 6, and if by then Kolb is 5-1, they will extend his contract.
And rumor has it that McNabb threatened to retire of we tried to trade him to the Raiders. Imagine that. We announce a trade and McNabb torpedoes it by retiring as a final "fuck you".
Also an extra top 5 things I won't miss:
1. Chunky Soup comments.
2. Mama McNabb.
3. Owens/McNabb drama.
4. McNabb throwing it in the dirt because he has no "touch".
5. McNabb's BORING personality in interviews.