Blockbuster Trade: What Does Donovan McNabb To the Redskins Mean?

Jack AndersonSenior Analyst IApril 5, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field during a 24-0 loss against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb being dealt to the Washington Redskins for a second-round pick in 2010 and a third- or fourth-rounder in 2011, the order in the NFC East has been thrown out of balance.

Washington had seemingly settled into preparing for the future this offseason. They had stayed relatively quiet, making a few low-profile moves to bolster some of the weaker spots on the roster.

However, Washington wasn't kidding when they announced that the "future is now" earlier this year. The McNabb trade proves that.

"I'm excited as ever," said Redskins WR Devin Thomas. "Everyone knows what he's capable of doing. He brings that athletic ability to quarterback; making plays on the run and breaking tackles and keeping plays alive. He gives you opportunities if they have good coverage, you can make something out of it and he throws it deep. Man, it's funny because playing against him the last couple years you're amazed at what he can do. Now the fact that he's on the team, I'm looking forward to catching passes from him."

McNabb brings instant credibility to the quarterback position in Washington, but he won't be enough if the 'Skins don't focus on the offensive line through the draft.

Washington surrendered 46 sacks last season, and the addition of one offensive lineman in Artis Hicks isn't going to be enough to lower that total very much.

With their remaining four picks, Washington must focus on upgrading their woeful offensive line. If they can't quickly get a reliable line in place, the McNabb deal won't hold much water.

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McNabb has taken his fair share of beatings, but it is unlikely he'll be able to take 50+ hits given his injury history.

What McNabb will appreciate in Washington is Mike Shanahan's ability to find balance between the run and the pass.

Eagles coach Andy Reid was a one-dimensional play caller, and that cost McNabb and the Eagles several times in the past few seasons.

Shanahan isn't the type to abandon the run and McNabb will benefit from that. Yet the Redskins trio of backs in Willie Parker, Larry Johnson, and Clinton Portis won't be able to assert themselves successfully on the ground if the 'Skins don't draft offensive linemen.

In light of current Redskins starter Jason Campbell, McNabb will certainly unseat him as the No. 1 QB in Washington.

Campbell is a class act and a solid QB. He is tough as nails and possesses the tools to be a starting QB, but his time has run out with the Redskins.

Too many times Campbell failed to win football games during his time with Washington. He doesn't have a signature performance and lacks the leadership abilities to head up an NFL offense.

Campbell has promise, but after three seasons with little in terms of positive results, the Redskins are obviously looking to move on.

McNabb brings a strong personality and an experience that Campbell just doesn't have. He is a powerful vocal presence who is respected through out the league.

Unlike Campbell, he won't be hesitant to call out Clinton Portis or any player that stirs up dissension in the locker room

He still is in search of a Super Bowl ring, and if the Redskins play their cards right, they will be in the hunt with McNabb at some point over the next few seasons.