You cannot look at a sports page or web site and not find the story about the Oakland Raiders trading for Donovan McNabb. This is one of the most interesting reads, especially for Oakland and Philadelphia fans.
Talking to several die hard Oakland fans, some are excited about this possibility and some are enraged about it. The one consistent thing is there is no middle ground. Either they love it or they hate it; that is what makes it such a great topic of discussion.
We first heard that several teams had contacted the Eagles about their quarterbacks. Buffalo, Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland, Minnesota, etc. Detroit became the front runner for awhile until their GM came forward and said “Absolutely False.”
ESPN says that “The Oakland Raiders are the leading candidate to land Donovan McNabb.” Two sources with the organization say they have not spoken to the Eagles about McNabb.
McNabb says he would rather stay with the Eagles, but if he is going to be traded, he would prefer to go to the Vikings.
With all of these rumors floating around, there are 10 things that need to be taken into consideration about this possible trade:
1. Donovan McNabb is in the final year of his contract. If the Raiders were to make this trade, they have to realistically take into consideration that he could be one and done. He has already said that he wants to go to a contender. If he decides to leave after his final contractual year, the Raiders would be giving up a top 40 pick for a one year rental.
2. Donovan McNabb is 33 years old. He played on a pro bowl level last year. He has been a very good player, but he also has shown signs that he is getting old. No one knows how much more he has left in his tank. The Raiders' offensive line is not very good and he would take a beating unless it is upgraded significantly.
3. The cost would be $11.2 Million. The Raiders would have to pay Donovan McNabb $11.2 million. With us franchising Richard Seymour and still having JaMarcus Russell on the team, and Nnamdi’s new contract, the Raiders have a LOT of money tied up into a few players. What is that going to do for the team over the next few years if this persists?
4. What does this do for the Raiders' future at Quarterback? If the Raiders were to trade for Donovan McNabb, they would have an answer for next year, but not for the future. This is something that has killed this team since Rich Gannon left. If they are going after McNabb, that shows that they have lost confidence in Russell and are looking to move on. The bigger question is what do they do for the future? They have to draft a young quarterback to develop.
5. Will this trade happen? Two sources form the Raiders say that the team has not even spoken to the Eagles. ESPN says that the Raiders are the leading candidates to land McNabb. The Eagles say there is no leading candidate. This thing is all over the place. It could be a smoke screen by the Raiders. McNabb wants to stay, but if a trade is going to happen, he wants it to happen quickly. The longer that this thing takes, the harder it is going to be for both teams. Each team needs to build a level of trust with their starting quarterback. If McNabb is traded to the Raiders, he needs time with the receivers and to learn the offense.
6. McNabb has only played one full season over the last five seasons. McNabb has taken a beating over his career (357 sacks), especially over the last five years. Is this the direction the Raiders want to go? If McNabb was here and went down for a period of time, where does that leave the team? The Raiders need to find a young stud (Clausen, Bradford, McCoy, Tebow, LeFevour, Crompton, Skelton, or Brown) in this year’s draft to develop for the future.
7. Does McNabb fit the Raiders' offense? McNabb has been playing in the West Coast Offense since he came into the NFL. The Raiders' offense is built on the receivers running longer routes and calls for longer throws. McNabb has the arm strength, but he does not have the legs he once had. The Raiders' offensive line is not very good and has to be upgraded immediately. If McNabb does not have the time he needs to get rid of the ball, what difference does it make who is playing quarterback?
8. Is McNabb worth a top 42 pick? The Eagles want a top 42 pick for McNabb. The Raiders own the 39th overall pick; is he worth it? The Raiders really need to investigate this trade hard. Giving up such a high draft pick could continue to keep this team where it is. There are so many areas that need to be addressed on this team, that giving up such a high draft pick for a short-term fix could really hurt the Raiders.
9. What would trading for McNabb do for the business side of the Raiders? It has been a long time since the Raiders had a true face of the organization. If the Raiders did trade for McNabb, this would immediately improve the team’s image. They would improve season ticket sales and would get more games in prime-time, especially if the team starts to win. Merchandise sales would go up and the Raiders would be one of the most talked about teams in the league. This team needs to sell-out during the regular season for more exposure, and adding a franchise quarterback like McNabb would go a long way in doing that.
10. Could McNabb help turn the Raiders into a playoff team? With the talent on this team and the leadership that McNabb has shown over his career, this could be the best thing to happen for the Raiders. Last year, there were several games that this team showed it can play with the right motivation and leadership (see the games against the Eagles, Steelers, Bengals, and Broncos). McNabb would be the leader on offense that this team has been missing for quite some time. The division is fairly weak and is going through a transition. The addition of McNabb would give the Raiders steady quarterback play and produce at least another 7 to 10 points a game. This should produce three to five more wins. That would put the Raiders in a position to challenge for a playoff spot.
Overall, this trade could be the biggest and best thing for the Raiders, or it could set the team back another two years. Weighing the pros and cons, personally, I say pull the trigger and bring him to Oakland. We need to get this team winning again and that needs to happen now.
One thing that no one can deny? McNabb would be a HUGE upgrade compared to all of the quarterbacks on the team now. He brings leadership, pro bowl performances, and a winning record with him; he would immediately make the Raiders a contender.
Finally, we all need to look at the big picture, this team has lost at least 11 games since 2003 and that is not good. They have drafted some good players and have also drafted some bad players. Trading for a proven winner like McNabb could be a shot in the arm. We have drafted a quarterback and it has not worked out; let’s bring in one that has a winning record and a proven track record.