End of McNabb Era? Sheldon Too

By Lance Epstein

 

Ever since the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs throttled the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid has stated that Donovan McNabb would still be his quarterback in 2010. It went a little something like this:

"We think we have a great situation," head coach Andy Reid said. "But right now, we feel very good about our quarterback situation. Very fortunate really."

Well, all that changed today in Orlando, Fla., at the NFL's annual coaching meetings. On Tuesday Reid finally admitted that he is open to trading one of his three quarterbacks.

“I’m listening (to offers) out there,’’ Reid said. “I’m not saying I’m doing anything. But we’re keeping our ears open.’’

Reid did not say anything was imminent, but by the sounds of it, he and the Eagles are planning on moving on without one of their quarterbacks.

"There are coaches who dream to be in this situation," Reid told Philadelphia Inquirer's Ashley Fox. "I'm not in any hurry to get rid of any of them. Have people talked? Yeah, people have talked. Have we listened? Yeah, we're in the process of listening. The bottom line is if I have all three of them, that's great.

"We’ll go back and look through those and think through them a little bit (on offers for their quarterbacks), away from this situation here. There’s (no offer) right now that I’d jump up and down about. But there has been some interest."

About a week ago, Reid and the organization said they had fielded no calls on McNabb or any of their quarterbacks. Now, they are saying they will look at some of the offers, and decide on what they are going to do.

The picture is starting to be painted that Kolb, Vick or McNabb will be gone since the draft is inching closer everyday. According to ESPN's NFC East beat writer Matt Mosley, who sat with Reid for 20 minutes today, felt that after the meeting with Reid that Kevin Kolb would be the Eagles starting quarterback in 2010.

Furthermore, Mosley also reported that Fox also has a source who told her the asking price for McNabb might not even be a first round pick. In fact, rumors have surfaced that the Eagles are asking for a second rounder, but might settle for even less with the amount of suitors drying up.

It is certainly starting to look like the Eagles are making a push to go forward without their star quarterback, especially since it was reported that Reid has not even talked to McNabb since the end of the season.

The teams that make the most sense for the Eagles to trade McNabb to are the Rams, 49ers, Raiders and Bills. Although I cannot see McNabb signing an extension with the Raiders or Rams, so a trade to either one of those teams will be a challenge.

Despite the trade winds blowing harder then ever, a league source says that McNabb wants to be in Philadelphia next year and retire as an Eagle. On the other hand, McNabb told the media today that he understands the situation but wants the dilemma solved soon rather than later.

"My position hasn't changed," McNabb said. ""I've said all along that I'd like to win a Super Bowl and finish my career in Philadelphia. I understand the situation well, and just hope, whichever direction the Eagles decide to go in, they do it quickly. I think that would be best for Kevin (Kolb), Michael (Vick), the Eagles and any other teams involved. No matter what happens, I've already begun preparing to have an outstanding season in 2010."

Even though Reid did not specifically mention that McNabb as the odd man out, McNabb and everyone have interpreted that way. The last quote by Reid might have said it best when talking about "moving on".

"Normally, when my plate’s empty, I move on," Reid said jokingly.

May be McNabb's plate, which was an all-you-can-eat buffet for 11 years is now just an empty plate.

 

Sheldon Brown on the Move?

While most fans will be shocked by the news that the Eagles have fielding offers for Sheldon Brown, I am not. I reported three weeks ago that it would be likely that the Eagles move the veteran cornerback (usually when a team web site mentions the smoke, there is usually some sort of fire).

Also, considering that this draft is loaded with quality corners, Brown airing out his dirty laundry (new contract) to the public, and being 31 years old next season, it makes perfect sense for the Eagles to try and replace Brown.

Additionally, I said in my previous article, Brown has been burned many times towards the end of the year and in the post-season over the last two years, which the coaches probably notice when evaluating Brown at season's end. Plus the fact he is older and has started to show health problems, Brown is a strong candidate to be traded.

Furthermore, I have been hearing rumblings that behind the scenes Brown is still making demands for a new contract or to be traded.

Over the last couple weeks, Scouts.com Adam Caplan has been tweeting that the team might be looking to take a cornerback early in the draft; may be even with the 24th pick.

There are three prospects that you might see the Eagles take with the 24th pick in the draft. The first is cornerback Kyle Wilson of Boise State, but he might not fall past the Texans, who are searching for a quality cornerback since Dunta Robinson left via free agency.

The other two corners would be Devin McCourty of Rutgers and Patrick Robinson of Florida State who can play immediately as nickel and dime corners. However, if the Eagles trade back or wait until the second round, an interesting player would be Kareem Jackson. Jackson is more of a physical corner, with good size, but lacks ideal speed. In fact, Jackson is a bit taller then the incumbent Brown but is very similar.

Moreover, with Joselio Hanson and Ellis Hobbs (coming back healthy) in the fold, the Eagles might start the year with either one and gradually work in their rookie corner, so by the end of the year the rookie is starting.

This really should not come as any surprise since the Eagles have shown the propensity to rid themselves of players on the wrong side of 30.

So what could the Eagles get for Brown? The way I see it, they got a fifth rounder that converted into a fourth rounder this year (certain incentives) for Lito Sheppard. I could see a similar scenario for Brown, but the Eagles would receive a fourth-rounder, which could be maximized as a second rounder if he meets certain incentives.

 

Some Other Intriguing Quotes from Reid at meetings:

 

On acquiring Mike Bell, age and his style:

 

He gives you a big, powerful running back. He enjoys playing the game. I had a chance to talk to Sean Payton about him. Sean liked him. Respected his ability. He’s 26 years old, so his best years are ahead of him. We’ll just see. We’ll see how things go.

I like the age part. I like the things that he brings. Brings a little different flavor to the backfield that we haven’t had in a couple of years. I consider him similar to what Correll (Buckhalter) did for us, as far as his skill-sets go.

 

On Drafting a Running Back Now with Bell in the Fold:

 

We’re not going to force anything. If there’s somebody there we like, we’ll look at him. It was a position we needed to bring in another player in. We think we brought a good one in. So you’re not going to sit there and force somebody into that spot.

 

On the Up and Down Season of his Offensive Line and Particularly Jason Peters:

 

The people you mentioned, one’s a first-year starter (Winston Justice). The other ones were new to our program. So I think they know what to expect now. They’ll be more consistent than they were last year. And as up and down as maybe we think Jason was, he was still the best left tackle in the NFC. His peers felt that way. And he can get better. That’s a great thing for him and for us.

I think Jason was the best left tackle in the NFC. His colleagues thought he was. He has room to improve. He knows that. He’s an extremely hard worker on the field. He’ll get better as it goes on. That’s a win-win situation. When you go from one team to another, it’s hard. You’ve got to get acclimated. He did that and I thought he played well for us.

 

On Desean Jackson Wanting a New Contract:

 

I never talk about those things publicly. Not gonna get into that.

 

On Dick Juaron Being Here to Replace or Help Defensive Cordinator Sean McDermott:

 

I’m not trying to help Sean. Well, I guess I am. But not for lack of him being a good football coach. I’m not asking Dick to coordinate the defense. That’s Sean’s defense. But I will always try to bring in the best coaches I can bring in. If you know Dick Jauron, he knows the dynamics of the staff. He’s not going to step on people’s toes or go behind people’s backs. That’s not what he’s about. He’s there to make us better and that’s what he’ll do.

 

On New Starting Free Safety Marlin Jackson:

 

Marlin was kind of a ‘tweener coming out of college. He was a corner that they put at nickel inside because he’s so physical. He’s not as fast as a lot of the corners you see out there, but he’s as fast as the safeties. They used him a lot inside (in Indy). That hybrid guy, that ‘tweener guy, those are your safeties (now). You don’t have those big monsters. Those 220-pounders. Not a lot of those around anymore.

As long as he’s healthy, yeah. Right now he’s not. He’s working to get himself back to where he can play. He’s wired the right way to get that accomplished. We’ll keep our eyes open (for other safeties and corners) throughout the rest of free agency and the draft.

 

On the injury front:

 

For the season, I think he’ll (Jamaal Jackson) be OK. For the offseason, I’m not expecting much. Or training camp. I think we’ll get him (back) in the beginning of the year, the beginning of the season. Don’t think he’ll be in any preseason games.

He (Stewart Bradley) was ready to roll at the end of the season. At least in his mind he was. He’s good.

 

Depth Chart at Quarterback:

I can say it again. Donovan is our No. 1 quarterback and Kevin is our No. 2 quarterback and Michael is our No. 3 quarterback. That’s how I feel.

 

Quarterbacks on the Market:

I wouldn’t say they’re on the market. I’d say I’m listening (to offers). I’m not saying I’m doing anything. I’m keeping my ears open. Which we do on every player. This is no different.