My next post, in a few minutes, will be a look at some of the negative response to Apple’s new iPad, but as I was preparing for it, I came across the news that the Philadelphia Eagles finally traded long-time quarterback star Donovan McNabb. And to the Washington Redskins! Within their own division! WTF?
Now, first off, I’ve never been the biggest Donovan fan. I’ve long-held that the Eagle should have traded him years ago after his legs went due to injury. He’s never been accurate enough for my taste and he has the unfortunate tendency to make crucial mistakes at the ends of games. And that doesn’t even mention the constant whining and passive aggressive poor-me interviews he’d roll out now and again. Trading Donovan has always made a lot of sense to me, especially now that Kevin Kolb has the look of being a special player at the position. But to trade him, still with several productive seasons left in the tank, to a hated division rival? That’s just stupid.
Reports seem to indicate that the trade was made because coach Andy Reid wanted to do right by Donovan, and McNabb had done everything in his power to limit the legitimate options the Eagles had to make a trade in the first place, even not-so-subtly hinting that he would retire rather than accept a trade to the Oakland Raiders. For that, I say good for him. The NFL is a league that has a long history of chewing up players and spitting them out. Whenever someone finds some leverage over the team, it always make me smile a bit. But I gotta tell you, I would have kept the guy and dealt with the distraction of sitting him on the bench this season rather than significantly improve a team within your own division. This will absolutely come back and bite the Eagles before all is said and done.
Say what you want about the way the Packers handled the transition away from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, and personally, I think mishandled is a better way of putting it, but even they weren’t insane enough to trade him directly to the division rival Vikings, forcing him to spend a year in another conference with the Jets before manipulating his way to Minnesota for last season, and you saw how well that worked out for the Packers as the Vikings had one of the best records in the league, beating out the Packers for the division title (and beating them twice in the regular season). Favre had one of his best seasons ever at age 40, and damn-near made the Superbowl, largely due, I’m sure, to the motivation of sticking it to Green Bay’s front office. I’m not saying the Redskins are Superbowl bound with McNabb, but now having to play two games against the Eagles that could be crucial for playoff positioning, and by some happenstance, the two meet again in the playoffs, would you bet against McNabb? I wouldn’t.
Remember that loyalty when Andy Reid gets fired next year. Maybe Donovan can return the favor and get him an assistant coach position with the Skins.