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  1. #1
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    What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Originally Published: February 11, 2010
    What's next for McNabb in Philly?
    By Sal Paolantonio
    ESPN.com


    PHILADELPHIA -- Will the Eagles trade Donovan McNabb? With apologies to the Brett Favre retirement watch, this is the most compelling story of the 2010 NFL offseason.

    Eagles coach Andy Reid has said all the right things -- almost. So has McNabb. And that's the problem. This time of year, it's not what they say that counts but what's going on behind the scenes and how you read between the lines.

    Philadelphia is the only team in the NFL with all three quarterbacks on its roster going into the final year of their contracts. Teams are calling, wondering who's available, who's not and what the Eagles would want in any potential trade.

    The Eagles' front office is listening. But here's the kicker: The Eagles, according to multiple league sources, have so far told teams that both McNabb and his primary backup, Kevin Kolb, are not available.

    Now, does that mean the Eagles won't trade McNabb? Definitely not. Most league insiders believe the Eagles are just posturing right now, trying to determine the market and how to proceed. If the team says publicly or privately McNabb is on the trading block, its bargaining position would tank.

    Among the teams that have talked to the Eagles, according to multiple sources, are the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills. The latter two teams are believed to be interested in Michael Vick, who told Reid in his exit interview in January that he wants to be traded to a team that will give him an opportunity to start. Reid promised him nothing, team sources say.

    Teams have showed varying degrees of interest in all three quarterbacks, but McNabb is the key. He has said he will be back and wants to be back. But is that necessarily the case? He often makes snide remarks about being underappreciated by both the fans and the media in town. That's nothing new. Former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski faced the same thing. Many big-media-market quarterbacks who don't take the team to the promised land of Lombardi face that kind of relentless scrutiny and rancid doubt.

    Publicly, Reid left the door open on a McNabb trade -- if only ever so slightly. Reid at first said that McNabb, 33, would be back in an Eagles uniform in 2010 and reiterated that it's his call to make -- despite the recent shake-up of the team's front office. (General manager Tom Heckert was allowed to leave to take the same job in Cleveland, while Howie Roseman was promoted to take his place.)

    But on Jan. 11, when making his final comments about the 2009 season to the local media, here's what Reid said that could be interpreted as he left himself an out:

    "I was asked if Donovan would be my quarterback next year, and I said yes," Reid said. "That's what I'm saying now." The key word there is "now," meaning perhaps that he could change his mind later -- especially if the right offer comes along.

    Three years ago, the Eagles were asked about McNabb's availability, particularly by the Minnesota Vikings. At that time, the Eagles killed the market by setting the price too high: two first-round NFL draft picks. Today, McNabb has diminished in value. Among NFL front-office executives, the talk is that the Eagles will want at least a first-round pick, but no one has heard a price from South Philadelphia.

    "I hear through league sources that this is the first year Andy Reid is willing to listen to trade offers for Donovan," said Adam Caplan, an NFL reporter for Scout.com. "But it's got to be at least a first-round pick."

    Still, there are those who believe a first-round pick is too much for a quarterback with a recent history of injuries and falling short in big games. Don't forget, McNabb has lost four of five appearances in the NFC Championship Game -- three of which the Eagles were favored to win.

    Within the walls of the NovaCare Complex, discussions about the quarterback position have been far from unanimous. Some within the organization have argued that the Packers successfully transitioned from Favre to Aaron Rodgers, suggesting the Eagles could make the same seamless move to Kolb, who has made just two career starts.

    There are many reasons that trading McNabb sometime in the next two months makes sense for the team, player and city. With 11 years in Philadelphia, McNabb has the best numbers of any quarterback who has worn the Eagles' uniform. At his Super Bowl party in Miami Beach, Jaworski, who took the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 1980, introduced McNabb as "the greatest quarterback in Eagles history."

    But in online poll after online poll on local Web sites, a majority of respondents say they are ready for change they can believe in.

    Right after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, Philly.com -- the Web site for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News newspapers -- polled readers with the following question: "Who has the best chance of leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory?"

    Kolb, with just four career touchdown passes, finished first by a wide margin: 43 percent to McNabb's 32 percent. Considering Kolb's level of inexperience, that is a shocking repudiation of McNabb. (Vick got just 7 percent of the vote, losing out to "someone else," which got 17 percent.)

    What's more, a recent poll commissioned by the local Democrats stuck a question about McNabb in the end: Should McNabb stay or go? More than 71 percent of the likely voters in the city of Philadelphia said McNabb should go.

    So, a trade would give McNabb a fresh start and the chance to get the financial security with a contract extension he wants and deserves. Indeed, a trade would need McNabb's approval so that he could work out a deal. For example, sources say, he wants no part of Buffalo.

    Here is what Eagles president Joe Banner had to say about the Eagles' quarterback situation Thursday morning on the Eagles' Web site:

    "It's a priority to figure out exactly the best way to handle the situation. Andy's comments have been clear about his evaluation and Andy is the final decision-maker here. As far as do we trade any of the quarterbacks, keep all three quarterbacks, what do we do with their contact status each going into last year of their deals, the uncertainty about the collective bargaining agreement going forward, those are also parts of the decision. There's different levels of complexity about the decision. We'll have to sit down and figure it out."

    Sounds as if the door is open to all possibilities.

    And that is the reason the trade speculation will not die. Reid and Banner could make it go away with the stroke of a pen. The Eagles have the money. The team just renewed all but one of its main sponsors at Lincoln Financial Field, and it's one of only a handful of NFL teams that has no problem selling out every Sunday.

    Essentially, the front office has put McNabb on a one-year audition. That can't be good for his locker room credibility or his fractured relationship with the fans. And it begs the question:

    Can McNabb lead the Eagles as a lame duck?


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Right after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, Philly.com -- the Web site for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News newspapers -- polled readers with the following question: "Who has the best chance of leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory?"

    Kolb, with just four career touchdown passes, finished first by a wide margin: 43 percent to McNabb's 32 percent. Considering Kolb's level of inexperience, that is a shocking repudiation of McNabb. (Vick got just 7 percent of the vote, losing out to "someone else," which got 17 percent.)
    So let me get this straight......when asked which QB has the best chance of getting the team to a SB, Eagles fans voted:

    Kolb - 43%
    McNabb - 32%
    "someone else" - 17%
    Vick - 7%


    But don't they know that Vick ran really fast 5 years ago?

    (sarcasm off)
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    I don't understand how the McNabb of Favre things can be considered the 2 most compelling offseason stories. They have these same 2 stories every year and nothing ever happens with McNabb and everyone is just sick of all of the Favre crap. I think it should be interesting to see what the Eagles do with Kolb and Vick but what makes people think that the Eagles will trade McNabb. Andy Reid wants him back and he's lead the eagles to the NFC Championship game 5 times and they made the playoffs last year.

    Eagles fans don't deserve to have McNabb if they're willing to throw away a franchise QB over a player that had 1 good game against the Chiefs and a 300 yard passing game against the Saints. Most of the 300 yards was in garbage time too because the game was out of reach early on because he threw 3 interceptions.

    I would also be alright with it if the Rams got Kolb or Vick next year if too much isn't given away for them.

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    So let me get this straight......when asked which QB has the best chance of getting the team to a SB, Eagles fans voted:

    Kolb - 43%
    McNabb - 32%
    "someone else" - 17%
    Vick - 7%


    But don't they know that Vick ran really fast 5 years ago?

    (sarcasm off)
    This is what jumped out at me in the article too HUb, especially the fact that Philly fans put "someone else" way ahead of Vick. Looks like they have more faith in an unknown quantity than the supposedly still productive Vick. Interesting to say the least.

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    So let me get this straight......when asked which QB has the best chance of getting the team to a SB, Eagles fans voted:

    Kolb - 43%
    McNabb - 32%
    "someone else" - 17%
    Vick - 7%


    But don't they know that Vick ran really fast 5 years ago?

    (sarcasm off)
    That also only adds up to 99%. Who did the other 1% vote for?

    Rocky Balboa ?

    Silly Philly. Apparently, The Liberty Bell isn't the only thing a little cracked in that town.

  6. #6
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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    That also only adds up to 99%. Who did the other 1% vote for?

    Rocky Balboa ?

    Silly Philly. Apparently, The Liberty Bell isn't the only thing a little cracked in that town.
    No reason for the numbers to add to 100%. For example, if you add exactly 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3, once you round it's going to look like 33% + 33% + 33% = 100%.

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_Weasel View Post
    No reason for the numbers to add to 100%. For example, if you add exactly 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3, once you round it's going to look like 33% + 33% + 33% = 100%.
    Aw, don't go gettin' all seriously mathematical on me, NW! LOL Just mocking what seems to me to be a pretty absurd Philly fan view of what they have had at the QB position in McNabb, esp in light of the other options.

    Incidentally, 33% x 3 does not equal 100%. 33 1/3% x 3 does. Since votes can't be divided into fractions, I understand the discrepancy intellectually. Although I'd argue that anyone who thinks there is factual evidence that Vick or Kolb is more likely to lead the Beagles to the promised land is only worthy of a fraction of a vote . That poll reflects bitterness over their team's past failures that they want to pin on McNabb, not football sense,imo.

    To me, it's like running Peyton or Favre out of town because of the mistakes they made in this year's post season. Maybe it IS time for Philly to roll the dice on Kolb for the future but it's a big risk.

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    So let me get this straight......when asked which QB has the best chance of getting the team to a SB, Eagles fans voted:

    Kolb - 43%
    McNabb - 32%
    "someone else" - 17%
    Vick - 7%


    But don't they know that Vick ran really fast 5 years ago?

    (sarcasm off)
    But Hub, if Rams fan were asked this same question, even the strongest of vick supporters would choose Kolb and McNabb and Peyton Manning over Mike Vick. The problem is we don't have access to Kevin Kolb, McNabb, and Peyton Manning, we do however have a good shot a getting Vick, who will give us a better shot that Bulger, Null, or Boller IMHO.

    Geez, look what you made me do, I come to NFL Talk and can't get away from this zombified, badly mutilated, Clydsedale.

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMob
    we do however have a good shot a getting Vick, who will give us a better shot that Bulger, Null, or Boller IMHO.
    And that is where our opinions will just have to differ. I don't see Vick as being a legitimate starting QB in this league, and especially in this offense.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    This is what jumped out at me in the article too HUb, especially the fact that Philly fans put "someone else" way ahead of Vick. Looks like they have more faith in an unknown quantity than the supposedly still productive Vick. Interesting to say the least.
    Not really "interesting" if you ask me, its more like common sense. Common knowledge among Philly fans is that #7 won't be back next year. So why would they vote for him?

    For example, say Kobe Bryant said he wants to play somewhere else, and the Lakers made it clear they were going to try and trade him after the season. It becomes common knowledge that Kobe isn't coming back to LA. Then the LA Times runs a poll asking fans who they think will lead the Lakers back to the finals. Do you think anyone would vote for Kobe? No, he's leaving.

    I think its more interesting Vick received any votes to be honest.

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    The Eagles have the most fickle, idiotic fans in the entire league. Probably in all of sports. McNabb has done nothing but been productive and kept the team competitive every year.

    If they want to cut the cord with him, fine; but there will be plenty of other teams waiting for his services.

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    Re: What's Next For McNabb In Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by kliquid View Post
    The Eagles have the most fickle, idiotic fans in the entire league. Probably in all of sports. McNabb has done nothing but been productive and kept the team competitive every year.

    If they want to cut the cord with him, fine; but there will be plenty of other teams waiting for his services.
    I agree 100 %. And I speak with some knowledge of Philly fans. I lived in Philly for 3 years working as a bartender in a sports bar. I would put zero stock in anything they have to say...zero.
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