Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weapon-gate

I have to give credit to Christian for the title. Of course we're talking about the allegations that McNabb said he'll only sign an extension if the Eagles prove to him they are going to be aggressive in the offseason at upgrading the team. This situation gives me mixed feelings.

We're always picking at McNabb to be more vocal, to be more of a leader. This would certainly go in that direction. It shows a sense of ownership in the situation. I have to admit to liking some of that.

I remember in September of 2003 the Patriots cut Lawyer Milloy. As soon as he heard, Tom Brady got in his car and went to Lawyer's house. Brady was furious about the cut and wanted to know if he could do anything to affect the situation. Lawyer explained that was just the business side of pro football and headed off to Buffalo as a free agent. I loved the fact that Brady was so into his team. He had 2 1/2 years as the starting QB, but he felt an ownership of that team. How dare they cut his starting Strong Safety?

Seeing more stuff like that out of McNabb can be a good thing. It has to be done the right way and with the right intentions. Trying to strong arm the team is no good. The player must be thinking about the team as a whole and not just using his leverage to push the situation. Hard to say if that is the case in this situation.

The real problem could come in terms of what McNabb's expectations are. He might want an elite playmaker added. Sounds great, but how many elite players are available? Would McNabb be satisfied if the team told him they planned to add a TE and WR early in the draft? Is he gonna push for Houshmandzadeh or Tony Gonzalez?

The Eagles are amazingly secretive. Last year I wrote an article for PE.com and mentioned that a RB from Cal was going to visit Philly to meet with the team. I got the info from a newspaper story out in California. It was public knowledge. Dave Spadaro had me remove the item. The thinking was that some other team might not have heard the nugget so why put it on the official site and help them out. I wasn't offended. That's just how the Eagles roll. Okay. So are they now going to spill the beans to McNabb about their plans? I love Donovan, but he can't keep his mouth shut at times. Do you really want him knowing what FAs the team will pursue and what the draft plans are?

This is the part of the situation that fascinates me. What will the team say? What will they commit to? Will Donovan keep an open mind or is he set on having "star" players added to the roster?

The nightmare scenario is that McNabb decides to wait until after the draft to see what happens. The Eagles add some weapons, but it doesn't happen to be the guys he wants. Now the team has to deal with a veteran QB who is unhappy. The draft is done. FA is 90% done. The Eagles have to handle a live hand grenade, but can't really count on full help until the next offseason. If McNabb pulled a stunt like that, he would become my sworn enemy.

Luckily Donovan has been a pretty high character guy in his time as an Eagle. He's not perfect, but he is way above average. I don't think he'd try to screw over the team.

I do like the fact that someone is putting pressure on Andy and Joe to be aggressive. Unfortunately there are slim pickings in FA this year, but too often I feel like our FO tries to be perfect. "Let's get the right guy". "Let's not overpay for him". Andy would be smart to study the 1995 Eagles and the 2000 Patriots. Both teams were basically re-built in a year by adding a ton of mid-level veterans. Both teams went to the playoffs. The Pats, of course, won the SB.

I like the basic way our Front Office does business. However, they could learn to take a few more chances on veterans. Go get me a blocking TE. Sign a veteran OL and get rid of Winston Justice. Go look for another Dorsey Levens type of RB to add to the roster if we lose Buck. And so on. Adding a veteran or two doesn't mean we've let Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen take over the team and add the Geritol crowd. You focus on the draft and ascending players in FA, but there is nothing wrong with bringing in some veterans.

I guess we'll see how things go on Friday. Will the Eagles make a splash? If so, they'll please McNabb and most of the fanbase. I just don't know that there are many good choices. I've been thinking a lot about trade scenarios, but even then I'm not seeing a whole lot of situations that make sense. We're less than 60 hours to FA. I'll check with my sources and see if they know anything. If not, we sit back and wait.
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5 comments:

Stephen said...

I wish Mcnabb would stop dropping little bombs in the press and worry about elevating his own game. If he raised his game a notch or two in the NFCCG we might be the superbowl team in Pennsy this year, not those daises across the state.

There's no reason to make his demands public like this that I can see, especially for an organization that runs things so in house.

orangecrush007 said...

Did McNabb watch the Bengals game and the first half of the Baltimore game? Does he really question why he was benched. He was horrific in those games.

he needs to go. I have always been a McNabb supporter but this is the last straw. This team bends over backwards for McNabb and he throws them under the bus.

mcud77 said...

McNabb doesn't have a leg to stand on in this situation. He's still under contract for two years. Its a bit early to start making ultimatums.

This actually helps Banner and the Front Office. Now, if they decide to trade McNabb, they can say:

"Donovan wasn't happy here. We needed to be able to plan for the future. We weren't going to let a player hold us hostage."

If McNabb had remained the loyal and good soldier, it would have been a PR nightmare to even consider trading him, much less actually do it. Now, its the prudent move to quietly explore a trade if McNabb continues to voice his displeasure. Furthermore, you may get teams calling about Donovan that wouldn't have called before.

Christian said...

Thanks! That's the kind of even-keeled analysis for which I hoped. I feel a bit better now. I was kind of concerned that Don was "going rogue" in some kind of misguided attempt to talk his way out of town. I'd hate to believe that, as I was so pleased to hear him say during SB week what I'd been waiting a long time to hear: that he wants to bring a ring to Philly and retire an Eagle.

I think the best thing the team can do in terms of offensive weapons is swing a trade for Gonzalez. It's easier to sign Housh, but I'm just not certain he's a slam dunk upgrade. What do you then? Move Curtis to the slot? That means less Avant, who I think has been great and has potential to grow into someone truly reliable. Maybe you can deal Curtis for Gonzalez? I dunno...

Just hope Don and the FO are on the same page here and this is all just typical blown out of proportion Philly offseason mayhem...

Ilya said...

McNabb is panicing. He feels that HIS window of opportunities is closing. He has 3, maybe 4 years left to win the Super Bowl. I hate the fact, that McNabb never takes the responsibility. He wasn't guilty the Eagles lost to Arizona, but he was guilty the Eagles didn't win. But he pobably thinks, that better WRs would have caught his off target passes in that final drive.

He may also think that he is Troy Aikman. "Give me Irvin, Novacek, Smith and Allen, and I will never have to lead the decisive drive, because we'll always be winning by 3 TDs".

Good luck with this thinking. This is not leadership, this is called "extortion", but extortion with no leverage. Why would the Eagles even want to extend 33 years old McNabb, when he is signed for two more years? Your nightmare scenario is, hopefully, doubtful. With a narrow window of oppurtunity, he can't afford to waste another year, he is not that dumb (with the second thought he maybe is, after he doesn't know that there's a draw in the NFL).

I hope that the Eagles FO doesn't think that McNabb's window and the Eagles window are the same thing. It maybe a time to trade McNabb, right now. What is his trade value?