Eagles trade six-time Pro Bowl QB McNabb to Redskins
PHILADELPHIA – Of all the possible landing spots for Donovan McNabb, the Washington Redskins seemed like a longshot.
The Philadelphia Eagles couldn’t possibly trade McNabb to a division rival, right? Wrong.
No. 5 will wear burgundy and gold next season.
In a surprise move Sunday night, the Eagles sent McNabb to the Redskins for a second-round pick (37th overall) in this month’s NFL draft and either a third- or fourth-round pick next year.
“You can’t say that we didn’t think about that,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said of having to face McNabb twice a year. “We did, but this was a decision that we thought was best for Donovan and, at the same time, the compensation was right for us. We certainly took into consideration Donovan’s feelings here, too.”
The trade is the boldest move to date for new Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and could spell the end in Washington for Jason Campbell, the starter for 31/2 seasons. Shanahan already has signed free-agent Rex Grossman as a backup and has been actively scouting the top quarterbacks available in the draft. The Redskins have the No. 4 overall pick.
“I’m really excited about my future with the Washington Redskins,” McNabb said in a statement. “I’m eager to work with Coach Shanahan. He’s been a very successful coach with a couple of Super Bowl victories on his resume. While it’s been my goal to win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, we came up short. I enjoyed my 11 years here and we shared a lot more good times than bad.”
Shanahan can only hope the 33-year-old McNabb works out as well as the last big-time Washington-Philadelphia quarterback deal. The Eagles in 1964 sent Sonny Jurgensen to the Redskins, where he played 11 seasons until he was 40 and became a Hall of Famer.
“These people never learn,” Jurgensen told the Redskins’ Web site when informed of the trade Sunday night.
McNabb is entering the final year of a contract and it’s unknown whether he is negotiating an extension with the Redskins. Reid said the possibility McNabb could refuse to go to another team or decline to extend his contract was not a factor.
“Donovan would’ve played anywhere because that’s the kind of person he is,” Reid said. “He’s happy to be there.”
McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler, led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl in 11 seasons in Philadelphia. His failure to lead the team to its first NFL championship since 1960, plus the emergence of Kevin Kolb, made him expendable.
McNabb, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft, leaves as the franchise leader in yards passing (32,873), completions (2,801), attempts (4,746), completion percentage (59.0) and touchdown passes (216). He also rushed for 3,249 yards and 28 TDs.
Kolb, who has started two games in three seasons, becomes the starter. Michael Vick is the backup. Both have one year remaining on their contracts.
“This was a very tough decision,” Reid said. “Donovan McNabb represented everything a football player could be during his 11 seasons in Philadelphia. He carried this organization to new heights and set a high standard of excellence both on and off the field. We thank him for everything he did for this football team and for this city.”
McNabb threw for 3,553 yards and 22 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 14 games last season, leading the Eagles to the playoffs. His passer rating of 92.9 was the third-highest in his career.
But McNabb played poorly in a loss to Dallas in Week 17 that cost Philadelphia a division title and a first-round bye. He also struggled in a loss to the Cowboys the following week in a wild-card game.
Reid said immediately after the season that McNabb would return in 2010. Reid repeated that several times throughout the offseason until acknowledging last month the team was listening to offers for all three of its QBs.
McNabb then issued a statement saying he wished to remain with the Eagles, but understood the situation and hoped for a quick resolution.
“Donovan is the ultimate professional,” Eagles president Joe Banner said. “He has an incredible work ethic and has been an integral part of our success. Over the years, Donovan has always carried himself with a great deal of dignity. He’s an excellent role model for young men and women from across the region. In my mind, he’ll always be remembered as one of the greatest Eagles of all time.”
The Redskins waited until late in the evening to announce the trade and did not make Shanahan available for comment.
“Donovan is an accomplished quarterback who has been a proven winner in the National Football League,” the coach said in a statement released by the team. “I have long admired his competitiveness and feel he will be an outstanding addition to the Redskins and our community. He knows our division and the roadmap to success in the NFC East.”
The Eagles were 92-49-1 in regular-season games that McNabb started and 9-7 in the playoffs.
McNabb overcame numerous injuries and controversies throughout his career, including criticism from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and a feud with former teammate Terrell Owens.
The former Syracuse star sustained injuries that ended his regular season in November in 2002, 2005 and 2006. McNabb missed a total of 24 games because of injuries. The Eagles were 14-10 in those games.
— AP sportswriter Joseph White in Washington contributed to this report.
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