Donovan McNabb brought football back to Philadelphia. He made the Eagles relevent once again by leading them to several NFC championship games and even to the Super Bowl.
Since those glory days, much of the talk has been about whether McNabb would be retained in Philadelphia. After numerous injuries, the time seem to have come for the Eagles to finally part ways with their franchise quarterback.
Ending the season with three capable starting quarterbacks on the roster, it was apparent that the Eagles would have to do something. Initially, the team said that they would enter the season with McNabb, Michael Vick, and Kevin Kolb as their three quarterbacks.
No longer than one month ago, the Eagles softened their stance, saying that they would entertain offers for their quarterbacks, but Kolb, the heir apparant to McNabb, was virtually untouchable.
Kolb, in his third season out of the University of Houston, was being groomed to be McNabb’s long term replacement, and showed his capabilities when he started in place of McNabb after suffering a broken rib in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
The once troubled Michael Vick said in the offseason that he would like to start somewhere, but Eagles’ management has shown no interest in moving the mobile quarterback.
McNabb, whose skills are noticeably declining, seems likely to be heading to the Oakland Raiders, whose issues at quarterback have been well documented. Oakland is reportedly offering their 39th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Eagles said that they had to get a top 42 pick to entertain pulling the trigger on a McNabb deal.
The Raiders have not had a reliable starting quarterback since the days of Rich Gannon. Al Davis’ team has gone through names such as Daunte Culpepper, Rick Mirer, Andrew Walter, and Kerry Collins. Also much has been made about the drafting of LSU QB JaMarcus Russell, who might be better served as starting at defensive tackle than quarterback.
Despite the declining skills, McNabb would come in immediately and fill a hole for the Raiders. He would not be a miracle worker for the once proud organization, but would drastically improve the position and the slim chances of the Raiders ever turning it around.
McNabb says he would like to go to the Minnesota Vikings, but they have another quarterback, and who knows when he will make his decision. It will be way too late for the Eagles, who owe McNabb a large roster bonus if he is on the roster in April.
McNabb is also in the final year of his contract, and Oakland might be the only team that would be willing to fork over more money than he deserves for an aging quarterback.
In Philadelphia, Kolb would allow the Eagles to continue to grow, perhaps allowing the team to reach the next level, specifically in areas where McNabb might be holding them back.
If McNabb goes to Oakland, he would have an opportunity to make himself a hall of fame quarterback, helping to turn around the laughing stock of the NFL.
And if Al Davis pulls the trigger on one of the smartest moves for the organization, maybe Oakland fans will have something to look forward to, besides the day that the aged-owner sells the football team.