The One Where The Indians Got Over On Someone...
NEVER, EVER, under any circumstances deal within your division.
Why? Simple. You never want to run the risk that the player you're dealing can and will come back to haunt you. Why do you think the Packers wouldn't deal Favre to Minnesota? Still, defying conventional wisdom, Philadelphia dealt Donovan McNabb, easily their best QB since the days of Ron Jaworski in terms of getting the Iggys to the promised land or close to it Southeast as it were. To Washington, for a couple of magic beans in this and next year's Draft, work stoppage pending. As a Giants fan, I found myself running the gamut of emotions on this when news broke. First, I was utterly pissed that McNabb was not only leaving Philly, but going to Washington of all places. Then, I was kinda relieved to a point in thinking that this is the same Redskins team that ran a botched play twice in one series against the Giants.
But after hearing Shanahan run down Donovan's oft-forgotten accomplishments, I found myself rather pissed again. Then, when it was mentioned the parallels between when Donovan and Mike met compared to when Elway and Mike met (age 34 for Elway, 33 for McNabb), I returned to being concerned.
If you're Philly, the only upside to this deal is Kevin Kolb shows you that his first two games started last season was just a sampling of what's to come going forward. Then again, there's still the possible/probable payback factor for Donovan which has me greatly concerned about this deal going forward. If you're Washington, you're all smiles. You've got easily the best QB you've had or seen since the days of Doug Williams. I shit you not on that. From a sheer skills standpoint, probably the best QB since Theismann. No other QB that I can recall did more with infinitely less than McNabb did in Philadelphia. I can recall telling an ex-girlfriend of mine that once Donovan got a playmaking receiver to throw to, he'd be in the Super Bowl. Two years after I said it, he got T.O. and got to the Super Bowl. Maybe I should've accounted for the probability that he'd throw three INTs in the first half and blow that game before the halftime show put us all to sleep. In any event, he's playing for a Super Bowl winning coach and for a fanbase that will welcome him with open arms. Oh and Kevin, they booed Donovan before he even threw a pass, so you can only imagine what's bound to happen to you if you bomb at any point against Washington next season. I'm not going to jump the gun entirely in saying that this lifts Washington out of the cellar and throws Philly into it. But I will say this greatly increases the chances that the D.C. faithful may have a reason to care about football being played past Thanksgiving (which hasn't been the case the last few seasons). Oh, I'm predicting that one if not both of these Redskins/Eagles games will be televised on the teleovision in primetime.
Still, there's something to be said about a quarterback that in 11 years, can get his team to a conference championship game 5 times out of 11 tries. I mean, sure, he got there once and didn't win. But he has 5 conference title games on his resume. If I'm not mistaken, that puts him atop the list for most appearances by any active QB in the NFL right now. What's even more remarkable is that four out of those five times, he did a lot with teams that were a far cry from being remotely great enough to be there to begin with. That's a testament to the ability that Donovan has to lead a team. I tells ya what.
Anyway, the Redskins at least for the time being appear to have solved their problem at QB. They've got their QB of the Present in McNabb, Future in Campbell and they're still sitting on the #4 overall pick in this month's Draft to use and do with what they will. They have more than enough sound football minds at their disposal, so the worry of them misusing funds as they have in years past is done. Philly fans as rabid as they are, will find out that sometimes you really don't know what you've got till it's gone. That perhaps, perhaps McNabb wasn't the issue with that team for so many years. Or then again, perhaps it was Philly ushering in the new guy just in the nick of time. Who knows for sure. For my money, biased take aside, I think the Eagles were incredibly foolish dealing him within their division. Barring injury to Donovan and a possible work stoppage the year after next, the Eagles will see Donovan at LEAST six more times over the next three years. Maybe more, depending on how things play out with the development of Campbell and so forth. As downtrodden as Donovan may have looked today in that press conference, I don't see that look staying on his face very long. As happy as Philly fans might be that Donovan's gone, something tells me they won't be at least twice next season. These situations rarely, if ever work out well for the team that does the dealing.
Case in point, San Francisco. They dealt away Joe Montana just prior to the 1994 season and sure enough, Montana and KC came to town early that year. Montana beat his pupil and the 49ers, before eventually falling earlier than expected in the playoffs. Go fig, right? Green Bay forced Favre out before he was ready and look at what's transpired since. They end up on the short end of two outings this past year against Favre and the Vikes, then get done in by a Rodgers fumble in OT against Arizona during Wild Card Weekend. The Franchise QB Theory is real people. Don't sleep. Bad things happen to teams that disrespect their Franchise QB and no matter how badly Donovan wanted it, he deserved better than this. From both the ingrates that call themselves a fanbase in Philly to the franchise that just couldn't wait to be rid of McNabb to usher in the Kolb Era.
Hope it's worth it, Philly.