From all outward appearances, the Eagles haven’t drastically altered their trade strategies in light of Andy Reid’s statements on the subject, Donovan McNabb’s response to those statements and the online sports journalism community’s collective tweet: “HOLY FUCKBALLS: MACNABB 4 NNNAMmDI OSIMOOFAH!!11!!!1!!1!” (EDITOR’S NOTE: At no time did we ever say that FadeRoute.com was strictly for the kids or, in any way, dignified. Save your personal indignation for the preseason, you prudes.)
The fact is that Andy Reid’s quotes from the Owner’s Meeting Breakfast were pretty tame. He seemed to be chuckling into his cheerios throughout most of the interview. “We’re entertaining offers and we might keep all three.” It echoes the accommodating ambiguity that the Eagles really love to pour on when they feel like getting cute. “Donovan McNabb is our quarterback.” Until he isn’t.
That cuteness seems to have shot the Eagles in the foot at this point. It would seem as though a number of NFL GM’s took the Eagles seriously about their willingness to trade any of their quarterbacks and shied away from the idea very early on. Others launched preliminary inquiries into the asking price for Donovan McNabb and hung up the phone laughing. Having dismissed either the viability of trading for McNabb through either the Eagles willingness, greediness or generous evaluation, a lot of these teams turned to cheaper, less talented or unproven options: Charlie Whitehurst, Jake Delhomme, AJ Feeley, Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn all changed teams in the opening weeks of Free Agency. The NFL Draft is just a few weeks away and a number of teams will look to Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy in the early rounds to fill long term needs at the quarterback position.
What market their might have been for any of the Eagles quarterbacks has dried up and narrowed and now their isn’t enough of a bidding war to put McNabb in another uniform overnight. Now the Eagles are working and I believe a trade will come through. But when you think about the kind of player that McNabb has been and the type of value that he could have commanded at one point in the offseason, the compensation for a six time Pro Bowler will likely be paired with accompanying feelings of a missed opportunity.