If you've just woken up from a coma, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded away Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins. Now that the post-trade buzz that overshadowed baseball's opening day has slightly calmed down, it's time consider who really should have left.
Eagles fans are either jumping for joy or cursing the skies, but this trade was undoubtedly a good move for both teams. Mike Shanahan gets a six-time Pro-Bowler with a few years of productivity left to help him right the sails in Washington. Maybe Shanahan can do for McNabb what he did for John Elway late in his career.
Whether you consider this trade a sign of respect to McNabb by moving him to a team with the highest potential to win, or an insult considering they don't seem worried about meeting him twice a year, the risk of losing McNabb without some type of compensation forced their hand.
The two picks continue their youth movement and will possibly patch up the holes of a playoff-caliber squad. The Eagles have been cleaning out veterans for a couple of years and moving on from McNabb was an important part of re-establishing their identity.
But that's only half of the solution. There's still one veteran of the team they need to discard before they can really walk the path of a championship team.
They must fire Andy Reid.
It's not a strange concept. There have been a number of organizations that choose to move in a different direction even when they are winning. Tony Dungy turned a typically bottom-feeding Buccaneer franchise around, but was sent to the door after the 2001 season, even though they made the playoffs. That same year, the Raiders were a playoff team who traded then head coach Jon Gruden, and found their way to the Super Bowl to ultimately fall to they coach the got rid of.
The reason is about as clear as day. Of the eight playoff appearances he's been in (all with McNabb), he has no Super Bowl hardware to show for it. Whenever the hype train rolls in and it seems to be their time, it ends with critical mistakes and ultimately, disappointment.
Maybe he just doesn't have “it.” Schottenheimer, as good of a rebuilder he is, always saw his teams crumble when it mattered most. Tony Dungy had the same title sticking to him after every 10-plus win season he had with the Colts before his Super Bowl win in 2006. Reid's 11 seasons seem to fit this trend, so a new head coach and philosophy should be considered along with the new quarterback.
Thanks to McNabb being traded, the Eagles have created uncertainty at a position you never want questioned. If the Eagles struggle this year, expect the calling for Reid's removal to grow exponentially now that McNabb can no longer be used as a scapegoat.