For weeks I've been of the opinion that the Eagles shouldn't part with Donovan McNabb because their window is still open and he's the quarterback that gives Philadelphia its best chance to get back to the Super Bowl. It's a quarterback-driven league and you simply don't see teams give up on established quarterbacks unless, like Kurt Warner in St. Louis and New York, they seem to have lost their Mojo.
McNabb has played some of the best ball of his career the past two seasons. So trading him now, football-wise, still seems peculiar to me. Yet, without the need to dig too deeply, the Eagles have been moving in this direction for more than a year. In the process, they've shown they really don't care about any controversy that's come with them steadily paving the way for McNabb's departure -- which I now feel seems more certain, with non-stop trade talk that isn't just being generated from speculative media.
On the Eagles' roster, only 11-year veteran kicker David Akers has been in the NFL as long as McNabb. Most of the team's key players have played less than half that tenure - including starting-QB-in-waiting Kevin Kolb, a second-round pick in 2007. McNabb recently has seen key veteran teammates like Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Jon Runyan, Correll Buckhalter and Tra Thomas depart and he's seen the team survive without them.
Wyche: Chat transcript
Michael Vick? He's in McNabb-Kolb purgatory because he's the No. 3 guy who is the Band-Aid for every situation involving two players ahead of him on the depth chart.
The time is ripe for McNabb to be moved. With a contract expiring after next season, the Eagles can get compensation now and probably a pretty good haul (an early second-round pick and a player).
If things can't come together, the hangover of all this drama and the sensitive player caught in the middle won't be good, especially since McNabb's looming departure would be a constant topic of conversation. What could make matters ironically worse: Should Philly not trade McNabb and he wins (as usual), it could be an even funkier situation at this point next offseason, because the Eagles would be faced with a decision whether to re-sign McNabb and/or Kolb and/or Vick because all three of their contracts are set to expire.
Rams: Decisions, decisions
Having grown up in St. Louis (with the Jim Hart-Dan Dierdorf-Roger WehrliCardinals), a lot of my friends who live there and support the Rams have been blowing up the BlackBerry wondering why in the world the team would make Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford the first overall draft pick. They want defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in the worst way, and I don't blame them.
But Bradford's the guy.
Two years ago, when I was covering the Falcons for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I heard the same concerns from fans who wanted Atlanta to draft LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey in the worst way. Dorsey had a lot of support among the Falcons' brass, too. The thinking was, draft Dorsey and let QB Chris Redman keep the seat warm for a year and get -- maybe Bradford. Possibly take a Brian Brohm in the second round but do not, in any way, take a quarterback with the team's No. 3 overall pick.
That's the same argument I've been getting from my friends, which is funny, because they bash Marc Bulger and don't offer any means for an upgrade at quarterback. Suh is safe; a dominant player who would help a woeful defense, they say.
True, but head coaches and GMs who won just one game the year before an ownership change don't win games and retain their jobs by playing it safe.
In a side note, glean what you want from this quote from Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, when I asked him about Bulger's future with the team: "Marc and I talk quite often, he's there in St. Louis. I think the world of Marc. He's a quality quarterback in this league and right now he's our starting QB. Whatever happens in the next month (the draft starts April 22), we'll worry about that then."
Orton No. 1, for now
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels declared Kyle Orton the team's starter heading into offseason workouts, but there are some people with the team that hope recently acquired Brady Quinn pushes Orton. Of course the Broncos love Quinn's physical makeup, but they hope he can rally players better than Orton, whose mellow persona didn't always inspire teammates last season.
Harvin's migraines subsiding?
"I have not heard anything further about Percy and his migraines," Childress said. "He or anyone else hasn't advertised to me that he's had significant migraine problems here in the offseason, but I'll probably see him in another couple of weeks."
The problematic migraines left Harvin unable to practice at times and caused him to miss a game against the Bengals late in the season. A team source said during the '09 season that Harvin would undergo more testing this offseason to try to diagnose the cause of and the best procedure for relief.
In other Vikings news, Childress said Albert Young is the man to beat as Chester Taylor's replacement at backup tailback. Minnesota tried to sign LaDainian Tomlinson but L.T. joined the Jets. I've heard that the Vikings are very much in the market for a running back in the draft and could take one in the first two rounds, with a physical style runner (Montario Hardesty, Jonathan Dwyer) the ideal prototype.
Childress also said practice squad tailback Ian Johnson -- of Boise State fame -- could work his way into the rotation, but Young has a definite edge at this point.
Speaking of Johnson, he was one of five players NFL.com profiled last offseason in our On The Fringe project, in which we featured five players' journeys from the offseason through the preseason in their bid to either earn or retain a roster spot. The other players were David Tyree, Boomer Grigsby, Lance Long and Coy Wire.
Our series, in which we chronicled the players through video and written stories, recently was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding New Approaches to Sports Programming. We could not have done this without the teams, the players and a lot of hard work from a lot of people.
The Fringe series will be back again later this summer with five new hopefuls and we promise things will be even better and more innovative than they were in our first successful season.