The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

Business as usual


For both the Redskins and Eagles, the Donovan McNabb trade was business as usual.

For Philadelphia, it was dumping a 33-year-old in the final year of his contract. For Washington -- Daniel Snyder specifically -- it was picking up another high-profile player to add to his fantasy roster. Even better, a high-profile player from the NFC East.

The Eagles' success proves that their method is efficient, even though dumping Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook and now McNabb divests them of three core players and leaders on a franchise that has been one of the NFL's most successful in the last decade. The only thing lacking: a Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The Redskins? Even if Dan the Fan's tendency toward fantasy acquisitions remains, Mike Shanahan knows offense. And Shanahan knows that McNabb gives him the kind of quarterback he hasn't coached since .... John Elway? Remember this: Elway retired after the 1998 season and from then on, Shahanan had just one playoff win with the Broncos.

Beyond that, at 33, McNabb isn't old for a quarterback, as Kurt Warner at 37 and 38 and Brett Favre at 39 and 40 have demonstrated recently, and as he's aged, he's become more of a pocket passer, depending less on his legs than he did when he began. (Actually, he never wanted to depend on his legs, in part because he wanted to dispel the world of the stereotype of the mobile black quarterback vis a vis the less mobile white quarterback.)

But there's a downside for both teams.

Philadelphia is likely to step back, if only for a year or so depending on how quickly Kevin Kolb becomes a quality starting quarterback. I say "how quickly'' instead of "whether'' because I believe Andy Reid to be a good judge of QBs. In the NFC East these days, it's tough to break in a young starter and continue to win, especially with an offensive line that's in transition although Kolb has young weapons that McNabb will miss in Washington.

The Redskins? I noticed that right after the trade that ESPN made them "co-favorites'' in the division next year. Whoa! Who blocks? Who catches? This was a 4-12 team on merit last season because it was overmatched on the field as well as in the coaching department -- Shanahan is a good coach, not a great one, whose defenses in Denver were among the NFL's worst.

In any case, it's much too early for that although these days, everyone predicts everything much too early. And is almost always wrong.

Including me.

That leaves one loose end: Jason Campbell.

McNabb was supposed to go to Oakland, where JaMarcus Russell clearly has become a 300-pound bust.

The Redskins now need a second-round pick in what's supposed to be one of the best drafts in years -- you're supposed to be able to get first-round quality with the 37th choice.

OK, Al, give me something for Jason.

He's a good guy and might be a good QB if he could stay in the same system.

If nothing else, the Raiders have a system. It may be antiquated. But if you need a job ...

By Dave Goldberg  |  April 5, 2010; 9:37 AM ET  | Category:  Dave Goldberg , Donovan McNabb , NFL , Philadelphia Eagles , Quarterbacks , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The Redskins would have been much better off with Campbell and the 2nd round pick in hand. It is an extremely deep draft so first round talent will be available deep into the 2nd round. Given the many needs of this team, that 2nd round pick was a huge price to pay. This team will be better next year but not playoff bound. There are far too many holes and the owner is still the owner.

Posted by: Albie1 | April 5, 2010 10:27 AM

"Actually, he never wanted to depend on his legs, in part because he wanted to dispel the world of the stereotype of the mobile black quarterback vis a vis the less mobile white quarterback."

How unfortunately true; by purposefully avoiding opportunities to break off failing plays by running or to incorporate schemed running plays in his early years, DM and AReid both weakened the Eagle's offense and deprived its fans of a reason to really warm up to a quarterback who otherwise generated ambivalence at best. I well remember a Big East basketball guard/NFL quarterback who had speed and moves seldom if ever seen before or since. A sad waste of ability, to the detriment of his game.

Posted by: pliddle1 | April 5, 2010 3:44 PM

I would think it all depends on what the Redskins would want to use McNabb for, is it a backup to Cambell, a replacement for Campbell, or as trade-bait to gain a better 1st round draft pick, since the Saint Louis Rams just release their quarterback Marc Bulger.

For the Eagles McNabb was simply a hindrance to start Vick. They say he's going to backup Kevin Kolb, but after Kolb's performances last year, if you believe that... Vick is in the Eagles future!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | April 5, 2010 7:31 PM

I am amazed that somehow you are blaming Snyder for this fool trade. This is clearly the work of Shanahan and Allen. At least you do seem to understand that McNabb is not what we need- we need an offensive line. The 'Skins should package Allen and Shanahan in a deal and send them somewhere for a 1sst or second round pick.
This season, and probably the next are going to be disasters until the Danny sends Frick and Frack packing.

Posted by: markappraiser1 | April 9, 2010 8:45 PM

McNabb is a huge improvement over Campbell. Look at where the Eagles went with McNabb. Yes we need O Linemen, But I believe our recivers, with good coaching, will shock the league this season. Moss, Cooley, Davis, Thomas, Kelly and Mitchell. The yung guys need to learn how to run precise routes. I saw a lot of improvement last season and expect to see more. I actually think our receivers are one of our strengths. We need to draft another speedster or two late in the draft. If we can pick up some talented O Linemen and the defense performs as well as they did last year, I am thinking we could be a wildcard team. I am certainly more optimistic than I have been since Joe Gibbs retired again.

Posted by: neil64 | April 12, 2010 1:02 AM

McNabb is clearly an upgrade.

The biggest two questions now are 1) can we protect him, and 2) how good are our receivers?

I guess we'll find out.

Posted by: postfan1 | April 12, 2010 3:04 AM

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