COLUMN: McNabb’s departure a good thing

Josh Rouse

To many, it may appear as though the Philadelphia Eagles have officially lost their minds.

The Eagles traded perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins on Easter Sunday in exchange for two draft picks—a second round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft (37th overall) and a conditional third or fourth round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Just six years removed from being a Super Bowl contender, McNabb had a quarterback rating of 92.9 last season, throwing for 3,553 yards and 22 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. Kevin Kolb, the Eagles’ backup quarterback, has two career starts under his belt, throwing a grand total of 130 passes during his three-year career for four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Kolb has a career quarterback rating of 68.9. McNabb led the Eagles to the NFC Championship two years ago.

So why ship your franchise player to Washington? McNabb has long been plagued with the reputation of not being able to win “the big one.” Even though McNabb put up good numbers year in and out with less than stellar receivers, and finally had the tools in place to make a serious run at the Super Bowl this year, he’s 33 years old. That may not sound like much compared to the NFL’s only grandfather, Brett Favre (40 years old), but McNabb has battled injuries throughout his career.

While the Eagles may not be excited about Kolb starting this year (or third string quarterback Michael Vick, for that matter), they still have an opportunity in the draft to make a serious investment in the future.

The latest draft boards show that Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has risen to a possible first round pick, as analyst Charles Davis has the New Orleans Saints potentially picking him up with the 32nd pick. If Tebow is good enough for the Saints to consider drafting, especially with Drew Brees in the picture, then it is not at all a stretch to envision the Eagles drafting him eight picks earlier. Even if he doesn’t pan out as a great pro quarterback, which many believe he won’t, he has the athleticism to help them out in other areas like receiver or tight end.

As for the Redskins, congratulations. You managed to bring in an experienced quarterback without giving up the No. 4 pick in the draft. With head coach Mike Shanahan taking over the reigns in Washington, it should make for some exciting football.

Just don’t expect Elway 2.0.