Being one of the biggest Donovan McNabb fans you’ll ever know, I always look for a way to defend one of the best quarterbacks of the past 10 years.
However, with another injury setback in his recently injury-riddled career, and with the under-appreciated performance young backup Kevin Kolb put up in his debut as a starter, McNabb could be more worried then ever.
Again, let me say that McNabb has been one of the best quarterbacks on the decade and to me is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. He’s been in the NFC title game four times and the Super Bowl once and is the least intercepted quarterback of all time (4,300-plus attempts, under 100 interceptions).
He has been super productive and in my opinion is still a top 10, top eight quarterback in the league.
However, to make the point again, he is a 32-year-old quarterback with a recent injury history and has a second round budding quarterback behind him ready to explode. Kolb is only 25 and has been waiting in the wings similarly to Aaron Rodgers.
If Rodgers is any indicator, we could expect a solid opening for Kolb to bud in his first few seasons. Already Rodgers is in the top 10 quarterback discussion.
Kolb is loved by the Eagles organization and Andy Reid and has shown the ability he did in college at the pro level in practice and now in games.
Every young quarterback is going to make mistakes early in his career, so I'm not too scared by the three interceptions, and neither are the Eagles.
But being able to stay somewhat consistent through 51 pass attempts, throwing two touchdowns, including a great deep ball to DeSean Jackson, and showing above average pocket presence and throwing ability on the run is pretty impressive and shows signs of great potential for Kolb.
Also, looking at the contracts, McNabb recently signed a two-year, $24.5 million deal just this offseason. However, this would not stop the Eagles from trading the five-time Pro Bowler.
With teams like the Raiders, Jaguars, Titans, Broncos, 49ers, and maybe the Vikings all looking for an above average starter in 2010, McNabb will likely be highly coveted in the trade market (maybe a second rounder with possible first round escalators?).
Kolb signed a four-year deal in 2007, but his contract in 2010 is under $500,000, and he will likely seek a big-time extension.
While I still feel Kolb isn’t as great as McNabb—not by a long shot—he is the more youthful, less risky long-term pick for the Eagles and may be a better option contract-wise.
Also, Kolb and Michael Vick could be a solid duo for years to come playing off each other’s weaknesses and forming a great quarterback depth chart that could replace McNabb for the long term.