Quarterback Donovan McNabb will now be throwing passes for the Washington Redskins as the Philadelphia Eagles traded him for picks on Sunday
Well it finally happened… the Philadelphia Eagles decided that on Easter Sunday 2010, that the Kevin Kolb era should officially begin. The Eagles shipped franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb (33) to the Washington Redskins for a 2010 second round pick (37) and a 2011 third or fourth round pick.
The trading of McNabb was not a surprise to me after weeks of very loud anti-Donovan rants within the team’s vocal fanbase and media. The 11-year veteran – who I believe is the most overanalyzed and underappreciated player in Eagles’ history — holds almost every franchise passing record, but more than ever there have been constant cries for Big 5 to pack up his air guitar and leave the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and now that is the case.
The surprising part of the McNabb trade is that the Birds decided that they did not have a problem shipping their franchise quarterback to an inter-division rival. I guess the Eagles really didn’t care that they will now be facing McNabb twice next season – probably with both games in prime time. And it will be real interesting to see the reception Big 5 receives in Philly and DC.
So now the biggest athlete in Philadelphia for the last 11 years will drive down I-95 to take his place with the hated Redskins. While in Philadelphia, Kolb (career numbers: 79-130, 60.8%, 885 yards, 4 TDs and 7 INTs) is now the Eagles starter and we will see if he is more Norm Van Brocklin than Bobby Hoying in the upcoming season.
But before McNabb leaves town, let’s take a look back. For over a decade in Philadelphia, the name “Donovan McNabb” has been both a lightning rod for both passion and scorn. During this period McNabb has risen to the heights of 6 Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl appearance in the 2004 season. While also facing the depths of boos at the 1999 NFL Draft, coming back from an ACL injury in 2006 and defending his play in four NFC Championship Game losses.
Yes…McNabb, head coach Andy Reid and the Eagles’ organization as a whole have not brought home a Super Bowl Championship in 11 years. However there is no questioning McNabb’s value to the Eagles franchise – respectable career passing numbers: 2801-4746, 59.0% completion rate, 32,873 yards, 216 TDs, and 100 INTs with an additional 3249 yards and 28 touchdowns rushing. Plus starting records of 92-49-1 in the regular season and 9-7 in the playoffs.
So now it will be 4th year quarterback Kolb taking over, but I caution Eagles’ fans to be careful what they wish for. In a past research article that I wrote, most teams after jettisoning their franchise quarterback struggle in their first season without their deposed passer. The study showed, Season 1 can tend to get tough as 26 teams in their first season without their franchise passer had a combined regular season record of 170-221-5 (winning percentage of 43%) with 16 losing records, 6 playoff teams, and zero Conference Champions or Super Bowl Champions.
Thankfully for the classy McNabb, his trade saga is over and he and the Eagles can start over. The Birds are armed with 11 picks in the upcoming draft and the Redskins are eager to move-on with their new franchise passer.
But I have a feeling that Eagles’ fans may soon be learning that the grass is not so much greener on the other side. And a friendly reminder will be on their opponent’s sidelines when they play the Redskins twice in 2010.