Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Third Half: Winners and Losers of the McNabb Trade
J. Andrew Lockwood
Senior Editor / Columnist
There were certainly more winners and losers from the Donovan McNabb trade than the two NFL parties involved in the deal, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins. In fact, a few players’ careers are at stake as well in a debacle that affects the entire league. How you ask? Take a moment to consider the two teams in the trade. Both are NFC East rivals. The Eagles made the playoffs at 11-5 while the Redskins tanked at 4-12.
By trading their veteran quarterback, the face of their franchise for the past decade, to the lowly Redskins, the Eagles organization now places their trust in the young arm of Kevin Kolb, a second year player from Houston that has two career starts under his belt. If you reason that the Eagles also have Michael Vick, I wouldn’t consider him to be more of a factor in the Philadelphia offense than he was a year ago. His legs are aging and the Eagles aren’t a team built around the ‘Wildcat’ offense.
Therefore, with an unproven quarterback, I see the Eagles hovering around .500 next year (8-8 anybody?) while the Redskins might see a margin increase in wins to inch near the .500 mark. That means that Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants have a huge opportunity to capitalize on the now offensively weakened Eagles while still beating the tar out of the Redskins. After all, Washington may have McNabb, but without a half-decent offensive line don’t expect miracles.
This trade also benefits other teams in the NFC such as the Falcons, Panthers, and 49ers. All three organizations narrowly missed the playoffs in the 2009 season and with a potential wild card spot opening up via the Eagles, expect one of these three teams to be playing come next January.
Of course with any competition, there are also losers. Oakland, Arizona, and Minnesota, all clubs that needed a quarterback like McNabb, couldn’t pull off the deal. The Raiders needed him the most, and in fact, the Eagles would probably have traded McNabb to Al Davis’s team had it not been for the fact that no one wants to land in Oakland these days. The last 5 years, the franchise has won 20 games, an average of 4 per season. McNabb is getting old and a stipulation of the trade must have been that he be traded to a half-way decent team with a reasonable chance of reaching the playoffs in the next two to three years.
Kevin Kolb now gets his shot, just as Eagles third-string QB A.J. Feely got his five years ago. Redskin’s owner Dan Synder and new Washington head coach Mike Shanahan can rest easy with a franchise quarterback to replace the inconsistent Jason Campbell. Michael Vick could even benefit from this situation if Kolb doesn’t work out or gets injured. The possibilities are endless.
It’s somewhat sad that the two trading parties, the Redskins and Eagles actually seemed to lose from this deal while other NFL teams benefitted. The Eagles did so in a continued purge of their salary structure, but nonetheless one that will weaken the Philadelphia franchise for years to come. The Redskins gain a great player on the roster, but the trade won’t mean anything unless the ‘Skins can put quality players around McNabb.
That’s the high-stakes world of the NFL, winners and losers at every turn. And when the trades involve big-time players, they come with big-time implications.