The idea of Al Davis trading Nnamdi Asomugha and a second-round draft pick (No.39) for veteran QB Donovan McNabb isn’t as far fetched as some experts suggest. ESPN “rumor monger” Adam Schefter outlined an important detail about McNabb’s contract situation.
On May 5th Philadelphia will owe No. 5 a hefty $6.2 million roster bonus. And contrary to what Eagles' coach Andy Reid said this past week, McNabb is not the franchise's No.1 guy. By letting the rest of the NFL think that McNabb is still the starter in Philadelphia, the Eagles are able to maintain a high asking price for the former Pro Bowl QB. Reality now says Kevin Kolb is the Eagles’ starter for 2010.
Reid is on vacation in Utah, and I’m sure he’s doing more than just entertaining suitable offers for the soon to be deposed McNabb. Preferably, Reid will look to deal the quarterback before next month’s NFL draft.
The next question--in this covert operation gone awry-- is where will McNabb land next?
As most of you know by now, multiple league sources say the Oakland Raiders are the leaders in the clubhouse. Other teams rumored to have interest in the quarterback are: St. Louis, Arizona, and perhaps even San Francisco. The catch is, none of these teams are willing to risk trading personnel and draft picks to saddle up with McNabb for just one season.
What about the Buffalo Bills you say?
Steve Wyche of NFL.com has addressed Buffalo’s situation. He said while the Bills may have shown interest in McNabb early on, but the team has yet to present the Eagles with an offer.
Wyche also noted that Buffalo would have a difficult time finding the money to pay McNabb. The quarterback would be expecting the same salary he’s currently making as an Eagle (2009: signed a two-year, $24 million contract). Plus, McNabb has already made it known publicly that he doesn’t want to play in Buffalo.
On the other hand, some argue that McNabb’s trade rumor is a non-story. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network begrudgingly gave his opinion and believes McNabb holds all the cards in this situation.
His rationale was: “Donovan can play for a season [in Phily], then pick out his dollar amount and his destination.”
Wrong…Mayock should stick to breaking film down and analyzing college prospects. In no way does No. 5 hold the cards in this situation. If the Eagles see fit, they can trade him tomorrow for a T.O. jersey and a used set of training weights.
Enter the Oakland Raiders.
Davis is willing to gamble on McNabb for just one season, with the hope that they can sign the 33-year-old to a long-term deal.
McNabb is ripe for the picking and Davis knows it. It goes without saying but his arm solves a lot of problems for the Raiders. Davis realizes the NFL has turned into a quarterback driven league. And McNabb’s last two seasons showed no decline in production.
In 2009 he threw for 22 touchdowns with 10 picks and had a 92.9 passer rating. McNabb throws the deep ball very well and made former Eagles tight end Chad Lewis into an All-Pro. Just think what he could do with sure-handed tight end Zach Miller.
To the pundits who say Oakland’s young receivers are too “green” and therefore, McNabb’s considerable skills would be wasted.
Well, that’s just not the case and here’s why.
Aside from the Terrell Owens experiment, McNabb has been making mediocre receivers look good his entire career. Just look at the list of average pass-catchers he’s propped up: Todd Pinkston, Freddie Mitchell, Charles Johnson, Hank Baskett, Antonio Freeman— the list goes on-and-on.
McNabb made those guys viable and carried the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl with average receivers.
Still, there is a huge risk for Davis. Oakland is potentially giving away the farm for nothing in return.
If McNabb played one season in the “Silver and Black,” he could then look to sign elsewhere, maybe in Minnesota. However, the Raiders could possibly franchise the QB, provided the same franchising rules still jive with the league’s updated Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be sure, there is no guarantee that this trade can or will get done, but if it doesn’t, the Eagles will have an entirely new mess on their hands.