Analyzing the Philadelphia Eagles' Trade of Donovan McNabb: Right Now, the Eagles Look Like Pure Geniuses

By Bryn Swartz

The Beginning of a New Era:
On April 4th, the Philadelphia Eagles traded their franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb, to the Redskins for a pair of draft picks.

All Donovan did in his 11 seasons with the Eagles was lead the team to eight postseason berths, five NFC championship games, and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX. He also earned six Pro Bowl selections and set franchise records in most career passing statistics.

Oh, and he never won a Super Bowl.

So the Eagles traded McNabb, to their division rival, announcing fourth year 25-year old quarterback Kevin Kolb the new starting quarterback.

Kolb had two starts under his belt, but apparently that was enough for the Eagles to trade away McNabb.

The Eagles:
In the season’s first game, Kolb looked like a deer in the headlights against the Green Bay Packers. He completed 5 of 10 passes for just 24 yards before a concussion knocked him out in the second quarter.

We all know what happened next.

Vick plays well versus Green Bay. Vick beats Detroit. Vick wins starting job. Vick beats Jacksonville. Vick injured. Kolb beats San Francisco and Atlanta, loses to Tennessee. Vick healthy. Kolb benched. Vick beats Indianapolis. Vick sets records versus Washington.

So it wasn’t exactly what the Eagles planned. But hey, it’s worked out okay so far.

The Eagles are 6-3, fresh off two convincing victories, and tied for first place in the competitive NFC East.

The Redskins:
The Washington Redskins started the season strong, beating the Dallas Cowboys.

Since then, they’ve been extremely inconsistent. They beat the Eagles and Packers. They also lost to the Lions and got crushed in a rematch with the Eagles.

McNabb has been much more of a problem than help this season.

In nine starts, McNabb has thrown 9 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, the first time in his career he’s thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. His passer rating is 75.2, which ranks 29th among 34 qualifying quarterbacks. And he’s fumbled five times and leads the NFL in sack yardage lost.

McNabb has shown that he’s not capable of carrying the Redskins to a winning record, let alone a postseason berth. And if he finishes this season as the starter, it’ll be the first losing season of a career (minimum 10 starts)

The Future:
The future looks incredibly bright for the Philadelphia Eagles, especially if they resign Michael Vick. If this season ends the way I think it might, the Eagles will have no choice but to sign Vick to as much money as he desires.

If the Eagles don’t resign Vick, Kevin Kolb will be the starting quarterback. You know what? I think he has a pretty bright future as well.

If Kolb quarterbacks the Eagles for ten seasons, I think he’ll lead the Eagles to the playoffs five or six times, with a few Pro Bowl selections as well. I think he’ll be the equivalent of a Matt Hasselbeck or Mark Brunell.

The Redskins chose to resign 33-year old quarterback Donovan McNabb, who turns 34 in a week, to a five-year contract extension worth $78 million dollars, including $40 million guaranteed, and an additional $10 million in incentives.

If the Redskins choose to cut McNabb before the end of the season, he will be owed just $3.5 million dollars. This is exactly what I think they’ll do.

McNabb’s play this season isn’t deserving of a starting job, let alone a five-year contract extension. I see no reason for the Redskins to continue to pay McNabb sixteen million dollars when they could simply cut him.

Right now, the Eagles’ management, particularly general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Andy Reid, look like a bunch of pure geniuses. It didn’t work out exactly the way everyone expected, but currently Vick is brilliant, McNabb is not, the Eagles are hot, and the Redskins are not.

That’s really all anyone could have hoped for.

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