It has been said time and time again from anyone who you would consider an elder, that you will never know in my life what you truly have (say it with me now)...until it is gone.
If you've paid attention to how things work around here, you know that Kenny and I were two of the biggest McNabb Stans out. We've written about Mac-5 numerous times coming to his defense (don't believe me, read here and here) and after hearing numerous allegations about the possibilities that Mac-5 would be getting traded, and hearing Eagles fans consistently whine and complain about McNabb's performance...I've come to a simple conclusion.
Donovan...it might be time to make a move.
First of all let me say this, Donovan McNabb has to be one of the classiest players in the NFL. I've never heard him lash out on the fans (to my knowledge), I've never heard him talk bad about his teammates (you know...Todd Stinkston?), and never been in any legal trouble. The man comes in and does his job at a high level.
Yet, what is the truth about McNabb? You have a strong-armed quarterback with streaky accuracy who is very mobile when necessary and has the ability to ad-lib a play at a moments' notice. He's in an offense that throws the ball roughly 70% of the time and save for one year with the ever mercurial Terrell Owens and for this one year where DeSean Jackson & Brent Celek has blossomed and rookie Jeremy Maclin has proven to be a gamebreaker....he's never in his entire career had any help. So now when you, The Eagles, have finally assembled the type of talent around McNabb guess what happened....
McNabb's on the other side of 30! The man is 33 years old! He's played 11, count 'em...ELEVEN SEASONS in Philadelphia and it took until 2010 to have a consistently strong supporting cast around Mac-5? Now you go out and get a quarterback in the 2nd-round in Kevin Kolb who has been tabbed as the future QB of Philly, and have landed in this precarious situation that we are in today.
Philadelphia should be ashamed of themselves.
Now, this is what I'm going to do...I'm going to take my McNabb jersey off, and I'm going to put my Howie Roseman (GM of the Eagles) thousand dollar suit on. Here's what I truly say with the least amount of bias as possible.
The Eagles have an offensive roster setup with the following:
QB - Donovan McNabb (12th season), Kevin Kolb (4th season)
RB - LeSean McCoy (2nd season)
WR - DeSean Jackson (3rd season), Jeremy Maclin (2nd season)
TE - Brent Celek (3rd season)
What do you notice immediately? Donovan has a double-digit lead on almost everyone on the offense. If I'm the GM, do I want to run the young gun in Kolb out there and begin rebuilding this franchise with a core that frankly could be around for the entire decade, or do I want to stay with what I got in McNabb and watch his talent slightly slip and slip and risk losing Kolb, the heir apparent? Kolb is generally liked by his younger teammates, and I have the feeling that the brain trust would love to believe Aaron Rodgers Part 2 is wearing #4 in Philly.
Its a tough deal, factor in the fact that Donovan's contract is up in 2010 and he's going to want to get paid. What do you do? Mac-5 will command a nice price tag, and the Eagles are known to not want to pay players on the other side of 30.
Sadly, I think the writing is on the wall. Look at it another way, remember what the Patriots did with Richard Seymour. They traded him to the Raiders when he was 30, and were able to get a 1st-round draft pick for him! Seymour was a beast for the Raiders in 2009, but at the same time...his contract was up, and he's on the other side of 30. Maybe you suffer in 2009, but long term? You've secured a top 10 pick from the Raiders in a draft that is as deep as ever.
If Philly can somehow acquire Nnamdi Asomugha and a top-42 pick in this draft? That would be amazing, and it would bolster a secondary that seems elite, but has been getting exposed in recent years. All it takes is to trade the greatest quarterback in franchise history...
(Let me put my McNabb #5 jersey back on)
I still wouldn't trade him.
(Let me put my Howie suit back on)
I'd regretfully make that move.