Sunday, April 4, 2010
Updated: April 5, 10:36 AM ET
McNabb headed to Washington
ESPN.com news services
PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb is changing uniforms and staying in the NFC East.
The Philadelphia Eagles traded McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a pair of draft picks on Sunday night. The Eagles will receive a second-round pick (37th overall) in this month's NFL draft and either a third- or fourth-round pick next year.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was the first to report that McNabb had been dealt to Washington.
"I'm really excited about my future with the Washington Redskins," McNabb said in a statement Sunday night. "I'm eager to work with Coach [Mike] Shanahan. He's been a very successful coach with a couple of Super Bowl victories on his resume. While it has been my goal to win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, we came up short. I enjoyed my 11 years, and know we shared a lot more good times than bad."
Shortly after news of the trade broke, former Redskins running back Brian Mitchell spoke with McNabb on the phone, according to Comcast SportsNet. Mitchell, who played several years in Philadelphia, told Comcast SportsNet his former teammate seemed energetic about his new destination.
"In his voice I heard a lot of enthusiasm," Mitchell reported on Comcast SportsNet. "And you know, he may not be exactly like me, but I could hear he had a little revenge in that voice, too. And he wants to go to the Eagles and show them that they made a mistake."
League sources told Schefter that McNabb wanted to play for the Redskins and not the Raiders or the Bills, which is why the trade happened.
"Donovan McNabb was more than a franchise quarterback for this team," Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said. "He truly embodied all of the attributes of a great quarterback and of a great person. He has been an excellent representative of this organization and the entire National Football League both on and off the field. I look forward to honoring him as one of the greatest Eagles of all-time and hopefully see him enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton one day."
The trade is the boldest move to date for new Redskins coach Shanahan and could spell the end in Washington for Jason Campbell, the starter for 3½ seasons. McNabb and Campbell spoke on the phone Sunday night about their experiences with each team, league sources told Schefter.
Shanahan already has signed free agent Rex Grossman as a backup and has been actively scouting the top quarterbacks available in next month's draft, when the Redskins will have the No. 4 overall pick.
The Redskins still have Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford scheduled to visit on Tuesday, league sources told Schefter.
"Welcome to our newest teammate to DC!" cornerback DeAngelo Hall posted on Twitter. "Really excited about what Coach Shanahan and [general manager] Bruce Allen are doing to help us compete for a championship!"
Sources tell ESPN the Redskins offered defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in one of their first attempts to land McNabb, but that the Eagles were not interested. As a free agent in 2009, Haynesworth signed a $100 million contract with the Redskins, including $41 million in guaranteed money. Haynesworth will earn a guaranteed $3.6 million in 2010 and $5.4 million in 2011.
The Redskins and McNabb have not had any contract talks yet, league sources told Schefter. McNabb's contract runs through the end of the 2010 season.
Washington and Philadelphia are rivals in all the major pro sports, and the idea of Redskins fans finding a way to welcome McNabb in their hearts will be nearly as interesting of a dynamic as the prospect of McNabb facing his old team twice this upcoming season.
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.
Keeping The Ball
Donovan McNabb doesn't turn the ball over via the interception. Over the last four seasons, the only QB with at least 1,000 attempts and a lower interception percentage is Aaron Rodgers. McNabb has thrown 683 more passes than Rodgers in that time period.
|Player||INT pct.||Total attempts|
"These people never learn," Jurgensen told the Redskins' Web site when informed of the trade Sunday night.
McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, 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.
"This was a very tough decision," coach Andy 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."
With three quarterbacks on the roster in McNabb, Kolb and Vick, the Eagles faced a decision on which QB to keep and which to trade. Monday, on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in The Morning," Reid said McNabb was not the only quarterback he considered moving.
"I can't deny there wasn't a choice to be made. There were things offered for Kevin," Reid said. "I thought this was the best deal here."
"I did not go into it saying Donovan was the guy [who would be traded] -- this happened to be the best deal for everybody," Reid said.
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 the 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.
It was not easy telling McNabb that he had been traded, Reid said on "Mike & Mike in the Morning."
"Listen -- we are friends and will remain friends and we had 11 great years together," Reid said of McNabb. "Unfortunately, this game moves fast -- it's a terrible, terrible thing to deal with as a player and as a coach."
But change is part of the game, Reid added.
"It doesn't last forever -- that's the problem. We all face it, we all know it's coming sometime, someplace," he said. "And then you kind of move on and the game moves on."
The Eagles were 92-49-1 in regular-season games that McNabb started and 9-7 in the playoffs.
"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," Shanahan 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."
McNabb overcame numerous injuries and controversies throughout his career, including criticism from Rush Limbaugh and a feud with former teammate Terrell Owens. He 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.