This will not be a post saying that we would have done any better with Kevin Kolb at the helm against Dallas.
This will not be a post saying that Donovan McNabb has been anything but the best QB in franchise history.
This post will involve no Reid-bashing or McNabb-bashing whatsoever.
What this post will be, is a short, reasonable explanation as to why this is the off-season that we should look to trade McNabb. And this is coming from a long-time McNabb supporter (which I still am). Here goes…
If you watched the last 2 games, and I assume you did, it’s clear to any level of fan, that the areas holding the Eagles back from making a Super Bowl run are plentiful. Our defense lacks a dominant player outside of maybe Trent Cole and is average in many areas. Our offensive line clearly needs Jamaal Jackson, but also clearly needs some continuity across the board. Both our offensive and defensive coordinators need to improve, as they managed to learn nothing from their first meeting with Dallas. No one move is going to fix this team.
Usually when teams are in this situation, their first step isn’t to trade their franchise quarterback. But in the Eagles case, it should be. And it has nothing to do with performance, it’s just smart business.
McNabb has one more year left on his contract, as does Kevin Kolb. If you extend McNabb (and presumably not Kolb), you are doing 3 things:
- Putting a large sum on money into the quarterback position (money that could be spent elsewhere) when Kolb has shown in his short time on the field that he’s not a huge step down.
- You are losing your “future” QB in Kolb, and need to draft and develop a new one all over again.
- You are betting big on a aging QB who is entering the point of his career where his skills might deteriorate.
The other option is to extend Kolb and let McNabb walk after next year, receiving no compensation for a top-10 QB in this league. No thanks.
That leaves us with the 3rd option, the one that will bring the most long-term value to the franchise. Trade McNabb this off-season while his value is still high, and he still has a contract. There are several teams that could be looking for a QB: MIN (if Farve is gone), ARI (if Warner is gone), CAR, SF, DEN, MIA, BUF, SEA, CLE, TAM and STL. You could probably get a 2nd and 3rd/4th round pick (maybe even a 1st if a team is desperate) that you could add to our 11 draft picks we have already. With that many picks, it would possible to package some together and draft 2-3 impact players.
In 2010, you play Kolb with the bevy of young players and expect some growing pains. On the defensive side of the ball, hopefully you’ve drafted a bunch of possible starters and even signed a player or two and we see some improvement.
In 2011, you hope that Kolb will take a step forward, as will the draft picks from the massive 2010 draft. Hopefully Jackson, Maclin, McCoy and Celek are still premiere weapons, and the defense is far more talented. If done right, you have young stars in the making, but on the defensive side of the ball, and far more talent as a whole than if you keep McNabb.
Obviously there are a million things that could wrong in there (like not using the draft picks for impact defensive talent), but from a business perspective the bottom line is this: The long-term value you would receive from trading McNabb this year is greater than the value lost in replacing McNabb with Kolb. It’s not that McNabb is a bad quarterback, it’s that as a team, trading him would likely make us better long-term. If we don’t trade him, we either extend him or lose him for nothing, I don’t think either of those options have more value.
It doesn’t matter what I think, only what Reid does. All I can hope for right now is that whatever he decides, he decides it quickly, so that this doesn’t drag out until the draft or later.
That’s a condensed version of my thinking – what do you guys think? Is it time to trade Donovan?