It's one thing for the Eagles to pursue a trade for longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb. It's another to ship him to the division-rival Redskins. The move raised a number of questions -- the biggest of them all: Why Washington?
The Eagles have done what few franchises would dare do, trading a star player to a division rival. Not only do they run the risk of the second guessing over their belief in the largely untested Kevin Kolb, but also potentially making a division rival significantly better. Andy Reid might have traded McNabb to a place he wanted to play out of loyalty, but as Vic Carucci wrote Monday, it's conceivable the Redskins could move ahead of the Eagles this season.
We posed this question to several members of our NFL Network crew: Did the Eagles make a mistake in trading McNabb to a division rival?
Read their take here, and then join in on the discussion below.
Marshall Faulk: Eagles made the right move
I don't think they made a mistake. For the Eagles, you would think trading him within the NFC East is risky. But, what you're starting to see -- like the Brett Favre situation -- is that when you have a player with one year left on his contract, you might as well get as much as you can for him because he might find his way back to where he wants to go. McNabb has one year left on his deal, and he could have played that one year wherever they sent him and then returned to the division. The Eagles have always been smart and have made the right decisions almost every time when it comes to letting veterans go. The Eagles are young, and there's no better time to let Kevin Kolb show everyone he can lead the team. The Eagles probably got as much as they could have from the Redskins because they are a division rival. You never trade worried about the other team, you trade worrying about your team.
Brian Baldinger: Eagles have no regret
The Eagles should be ecstatic. I view McNabb as a flawed player, and it was never more apparent than in the back-to-back losses to the Cowboys last season. His flaws will never go away. Now, the Eagles get at least two chances to expose the same flaws they've been covering up for 11 years. It works against the Redskins that McNabb is still in the division. Andy Reid can finally stop covering up for one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the history of the game. The Eagles will go to the playoffs. The Redskins will be watching from the golf course.
Jason La Canfora: Trade benefits both teams
It's a cliche to say, but I look at this as a win-win. I appreciate the guts and fortitude the Eagles displayed by trading McNabb to the Redskins. It's a gamble, no doubt, but it's a package of picks in line with what the team wanted. It's solid compensation for a player the Eagles were not going to extend long-term. And in trading McNabb, the Eagles did solid by the guy who has been the face of the franchise for over a decade, sending him to a locale and coach with whom he is comfortable. It could very well be that, similar to the Green Bay/Brett Favre parting, Kevin Kolb is very much a worthy successor, and McNabb, like Favre, goes on to shine as well.
Solomon Wilcots: Eagles honored McNabb
It was less of a concern for the Eagles to trade McNabb within the division than it was to honor him after 11 seasons. That was the one thing the Eagles could do, was to trade him to a good team. That comes directly from his relationship with Andy Reid. The Eagles know that trading him in the NFC East is not the best thing for them. But other than giving him a long-term deal, keeping him another season and paying his roster bonus, it was the one bone they could throw his way. They put him on a team with a coach who runs a system similar to what he's done his whole career. McNabb is a potential Hall of Famer, and he'll always be an Eagle. If the Eagles feared McNabb, they wouldn't have made this trade.