They finally did it. In the division, to a bitter rival, for not even a first-round pick. A fairly ignominious ending to Donovan McNabb's superb Eagles career, one that spanned eleven seasons and saw the team reach five conference title games and a Super Bowl.
A few hours after the announcement, the shock is still pretty strong, but a few quick thoughts:
- The deal kills whatever slim hopes the Eagles had for 2010. They're probably the worst team in the very tough NFC East now--remember, the Redskins had as bad or worse injury problems as the Eagles last year, and the Giants had an idiot coaching their defense--and newly installed QB Kevin Kolb will take his lumps as a starter. I'd put the over/under at 6 wins, and if I had to bet either way, I think I'd take the under.
- But maybe low expectations are partly the point, at least as far as Kolb is concerned. He can learn in a low-pressure environment, and the coaches can leave young players out there on defense to suffer and learn as well--no more in-season patch jobs with veterans who might have heart and desire but no tread left on the tires. So long as the offensive line is good enough to keep Kolb in one piece, this really isn't the worst thing. Kolb gets to grow with DJax, Maclin, Shady and Celek, the group of early to mid-20s skill players that gave McNabb his best set of weapons as a Bird last year; if Kolb is even decent, they'll make him look pretty good. Now they just have to build as good a young core on defense, which is where the draft picks come in.
- I'll be rooting for Donovan McNabb wherever he plays, as long as he plays. Still.... I wish it wasn't the Redskins. Between the racist name, the unbearable owner and super-arrogant coach, and especially the obnoxious non-city in which they don't even really play, they might be my second most hated NFL team.
I hope McNabb gets his due from the Philly public, if not from the media imbeciles. I hope he's one day called to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, and that he graces it in Eagle green.