Jan 21, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT
The one thing basically every fan agrees on is somebody who plays quarterback for the Eagles will not be here next year. It's a given. With all three having one year remaining on their contracts, and all three looking for an opportunity to start in the NFL, there's simply no way they can hold onto them all. A trade is definitely coming, so it feels like a good time to look at which teams are in the market for a quarterback.
To be honest, this began as a list of possible destinations specifically for McNabb, but there were a lot of things wrong with that. For one, we may see two trades. Number two, they may not involve McNabb. Rather than choose which guy gets the boot and where he could wind up, we sampled every team that needs immediate quarterback help, and examined where all three guys fit with that club.
Rumor has it Kurt Warner is retiring. Donovan happens to make Arizona his home. Think Larry Fitzgerald might be able to pull down a few of his errant throws? The notion depends on how their front office feels about Matt Leinart. He's only started six games since his rookie season, so it's difficult to measure his progression. Leinart's completion percentage jumped to 66% on 77 pass attempts in '09, but just a 5.6 average with three interceptions to zero touchdowns. He wasn't bad in a sport start, losing the game at Tennessee, but committing no turnovers.
McNabb makes sense if they lack confidence in Leinart's abilities, but ditching him to go with another unknown such as Kolb probably wouldn't happen. Vick would be a major step back.
Trent Edwards regressed this season (possibly as a result of poor coaching), and Ryan Fitzpatrick is no kind of solution. The Bills have shown some of the tendencies of a desperate franchise in recent years; would they consider reuniting McNabb with Terrell Owens? I don't know about their fans, but I'd pay to see that show. Vick might be a box office draw as well.
Kolb doesn't seem like a fit here though. They most likely would prefer somebody who would energize the fanbase, and throwing an unproven QB into a new system while playing behind that awful offensive line is a recipe for disaster.
The question is whether they're still searching for a quarterback. Matt Moore played well for them down the stretch, so perhaps no. The Peppers-for-McNabb swap is what makes this seem like such a logical destination, but player-for-player trades are highly irregular in the NFL in the first place. They won't be interested in Kolb either if they like Moore, who is entering his fourth season as well. That's also a negative on Vick.
Another team looking to unload a QB, as it's a new regime and neither Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn are working out.
This looks like a longshot for Donovan. Bad teams generally aren't interested in acquiring veteran quarterbacks before they have the rest of the pieces in place. The Browns are operating with a sense of urgency now though, and may be looking for a quick fix. Hiring Tom Heckert as GM probably doesn't hurt either. Vick is even more unlikely. They're trying to turn things around the right way there, and that's a PR nightmare they just don't need for a guy who wasn't really cutting it before leaving the game for two years.
There could be some legitimate interest in Kolb, who was obviously drafted during Heckert's tenure here. At least the Browns will know better than any other team what they're getting. It's too soon to say what direction the organization wants to go, but the ties to the Eagles presumably facilitates the deal-making process.
The Broncos inadvertently eschewed their franchise quarterback last offseason, so chances are they would be interested in upgrading Kyle Orton, who also happens to be a free agent. They have the extra picks from the Cutler trade, and there is at least one notable veteran in that locker room you can expect to offer a glowing recommendation of McNabb. With the added bonus of being in the AFC, this seems like a logical landing spot for an available franchise QB.
Kolb ran a spread offense in college, which Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels became famous for in New England, so he certainly could be an option. They won't be interested in gambling on Vick though.
QB isn't necessarily their problem, but the Jaguars could use a merketable player like McNabb if only to put some butts in the seats. Word is they already have their eyes on local favorite Tim Tebow for that very reason.
Otherwise it doesn't really make sense to find a QB, because David Garrard is fine. There's no guarantee Kolb would be an improvement, and Vick turns off equally as many people as those who would immediately run out and buy season tickets. This seems to be a dead end.
Not surprisingly, Matt Cassel turned out to be a bust. One season in New England can do wonders for a QB's career. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they've already invested a ton of money in him. While I consider QB a need here, there doesn't seem to be much they can do about it until at least 2011. At best, they can bring in Vick for a season at his relatively low cost.
Let's face it, Brett Favre will never retire, but we're acting under the assumption that he does. Brad Childress was the quarterbacks coach the first four years of McNabb's career, then of course offensive coordinator through 2005. In terms of comfort level, there's no question they could work together. It's a tricky situation though. They are built to win immediately, but sooner or later they have to consider finding a QB of the future.
Which places Kolb in the picture as well. Childress left before the Eagles drafted Kolb, so he hasn't worked with him personally. However most Reid disciples trust Andy implicitly, and he probably believes the kid will be pretty good. Having said that, it seems like a mighty big leap of faith with the prospect of multiple Super Bowls on the horizon.
Vick probably isn't a whole helluva lot better than Tarvaris Jackson anymore.
I can't envision any scenario that has McNabb in a Raiders uniform. Keep in mind, any trade involving 5 will be contingent on him signing an extension. You think he would hand the rest of his career over to Al Davis? Not after all the years he's enjoyed in a franchise that knows how to build a winner.
In fact, this isn't a good fit for anybody. Davis loves quarterbacks with big arms, so Kolb is out. Vick would be a natural Raider, but deep down he knows this isn't a situation he wants to step into. The JaMarcus Russell project isn't definitively finished anyway, so we're not expecting any swaps with Oakland are forthcoming.
I can't see the Rams having any interest in McNabb at all. They're the worst team in football. Even with Donovan, they're two years away from competing. By then, they could have drafted and developed a guy that will be there for the next decade. And the idea they would trade the first pick in the draft for him, that he's even worth that, is insane. It's a similar deal for Kolb. He's supposed to be entering his prime now. Sticking him behind a makeshift line with no weapons probably isn't a good way to kick off the Kolb era.
As we previously mentioned though, Vick could be an outstanding holdover for the Rams. With Marc Bulger considering retirement and a bunch of stiffs behind him, they will need a QB. Vick would bring some excitement back to the offense, and he might have enough left in the tank to pull off a few wins and help them climb out of the cellar. This is his most obvious destination.
Alex Smith may be good enough to go 8-8 with, but the pieces are in place to go much further, and the 49ers happen to have two first round picks. Donovan makes perfect sense here. They have a power running game, a gifted young receiver, and a tight end who is an absolutely dominant presence in the red zone. Oh, and a tough, physical defense. With McNabb in the fold, this team could become serious contenders in the NFC.
They might kick Kolb's tires too. They have to feel like they're close right now, particularly with an upgrade at QB. There's no guarantees if they went with Kolb, but they could keep their two first round picks, further strengthen the core, and hope he's at least better than what they already have. Pretty sure Vick isn't the guy that will boost them into the up
per echelon of the NFC though.
This is the organization whose plans are the most iffy right now. There was talk of drafting a quarterback last year, and they didn't. It's on their plate again this year with the sixth pick in the draft, but with a new head coach and GM, it's too early to predict what they'll do.
I don't think they're trading for anybody. Matt Hasselbeck struggled down the stretch, but he's still serviceable as far as QB's go. They don't need another aging veteran like McNabb, or the sideshow that comes along with Vick. Kolb is probably their best bet, but new coaches like to mold "their guy." At this point, this just doesn't seem like a logical trading partner.
It sounds like they're going to stick with Jason Campbell, who honestly isn't a terrible QB, but could seriously use a change of scenery, maybe a couple years on somebody's bench. He's damaged goods right now.
But you know the Eagles won't be sharing their wealth with a division rival. Off the table.
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