Trouble in the City of Brotherly Love

The Philadelphia Eagles have created quite a mess for themselves this offseason. Front and centre, of course, is the ongoing drama with Donovan McNabb, and whether or not the Eagles will pull the trigger to send their starting quarterback out of town. It’s a tough situation for one of the National Football League’s best run franchises, and before too many Eagles fans clamour for the start of the Kevin Kolb era, a thorough look at the possibilities is necessary.

First and foremost, Donovan McNabb is a winner. During his career, the Eagles have compiled a 108-67-1 regular season record, with McNabb starting 142 of 176 games. He’s also guided the Eagles to five Conference Championships and one Super Bowl appearance. Any time a franchise is preparing to move on without that kind of winner, it’s a red flag. He also has the most passing yards and passing touchdowns in franchise history. Most analysts south of the border consider McNabb a “top twelve” quarterback in the league today, but you could make the argument that he deserves to be higher. If the Eagles decide to jettison McNabb in favour of Kolb, they’ll be ridding themselves of arguably the greatest player in franchise history.

As for Kevin Kolb, the Philly Faithfull are looking for their own Aaron Rodgers. He started two games last year, throwing for four touchdowns and over 700 yards – but it was against Kansas City and New Orleans. The Saints also managed to pick off three of his passes. Kolb is a nice prospect, but he’s far from a sure thing.

With the Oakland Raiders emerging as the favourites to land McNabb, the biggest question of all is whether or not No. 5 would be happy by The Bay. To be fair, no one should be happy to be playing for Oakland these days. The Eagles are reportedly seeking a high second round pick in return, and the Raiders are certainly able to pay that price. There was even the rumour of a much larger deal on the table, with McNabb and Asante Samuel heading to Oakland in exchange for Nnamdi Asomugha. While I’m not in favour of Philly getting rid of McNabb, this is one trade I’d swing in a second if I were a member of the Eagles’ brass. Any chance you have to unload an overpaid, gambling cornerback like Samuel and replace him with the best cover man in the league (sorry, Darrelle Revis), it’s a move you have to make. It would make Philadelphia weaker under center, but improve the team immensely in the defensive backfield.

Unfortunately for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, this seems to be a no-win situation with their long-time franchise player. Head Coach Andy Reid has cornered himself and the team by switching away from his steadfast support of McNabb to confessing the team is looking to move him. As for McNabb himself, he’s not helping his own cause by saying his two preferred choices are Minnesota and Arizona, two teams that have denied any interest in the six-time Pro  Bowler.

Whatever the outcome, there’s going to be some tension around the Eagles this fall. If they keep McNabb and Kolb on the roster for another year, they risk losing one or both next offseason in free agency. If McNabb is dealt now and the team struggles, fans will be calling for Andy Reid’s head. It should be an interesting lead up to the NFL Draft for the Philadelphia Eagles, as for the first time since 1999, they’ll be determining their future at the quarterback position.

TWO POINT CONVERSION

– the newest latest reports out of Pittsburgh say that Santonio Holmes may become ‘the fall guy’ for the teams disastrous offseason. Something needs to be done in Pittsburgh, and I’d put my money on it happening to Holmes over Ben Roethlisberger

– so Tim Tebow is now looking like a late first round prospect. How did this happen? He’s still the same system quarterback with poor mechanics that was at the Senior Bowl. I will be shocked if Tebow comes off the board on April 22

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