Eagles send McNabb to Redskins
AP Sports Writer
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.
“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 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 next month’s draft, when the Redskins will have the No. 4 overall pick.
“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!”
Washington and Philadelphia are rivals in all the major pro sports, and the idea of Redskins fans finding to 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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
Shanahan was not available for comment. The Redskins had not announced the trade as of late Sunday night.
ESPN.com was the first to report that McNabb had been dealt to Washington.
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 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.