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Posted: Tuesday April 6, 2010 1:29PM; Updated: Wednesday April 7, 2010 1:45AM
Peter King
Peter King>MONDAY MORNING QB - TUESDAY

MMQB Mail: Eagles get first-round value for McNabb; Stallworth retort

Story Highlights

Using draft value chart, Eagles got equivalent of late first-rounder for McNabb

Readers question Donte Stallworth on number of drinks he had on fateful night

More mailbag questions on Detroit Lions' new leadership and Michael Vick

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Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to five NFC championship games in 11 seasons.
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While we can debate the wisdom/insanity of trading an in-his-prime quarterback within the division to a rival that desperately needs a QB, we won't know for two or three years whether Eagles coach Andy Reid did the right thing for his franchise Sunday night in dealing Donovan McNabb to the Redskins.

We can, however, make some judgments about the compensation level Reid got from Washington (a second-round pick in this year's draft and either a third- or fourth-round pick next year.) And in that, we can get into some pretty good arguments.

From the fans in Philly unhappy with getting "just a second-rounder and something next year'' for McNabb, I'd say that's a pretty silly way to look at it. The second-round pick is the fifth pick in the round, the 37th overall, in what most football people think is somewhere between a good to very good draft. The third/fourth-rounder next year is currency, a chip for a Philadelphia team that aggressively trades picks and players and is married to no one.

The Eagles could have traded McNabb to at least two other teams for a second-round pick straight-up, I'm told. I'm assuming those are Oakland and Buffalo. Instead, they got a better second-round pick, plus a future middle-of-the-draft choice.

Let's look at the value they acquired using the draft chart first put in play by the Cowboys 20-some years ago to help Dallas make quick decisions on draft-day trades by assigning every pick a point value, with a slight twist. The draft-day chart makes no allowance for a good or bad draft. Because this year's draft is clearly above average, I'm going to inflate the 2010 second-round pick by 10 percent. And to assign value to the 2011 pick, I'm going to arbitrarily give the value of a sandwich pick between the third and fourth rounds -- the 97th pick overall. The yield:

• The value of the 37th pick this year on the trade chart is 530 points. Using my math, let's inflate that by 10 percent, or 53 points, and give this pick a value of 583 points.

• The value of the 97th pick on the trade chart is 112 points.

• The total value, then, from the McNabb deal is 695 points. That translates to about the 26th overall pick in the draft. (This year, the Cards pick 26th, with a value of 700 points for the pick, and Dallas picks 27th, with a value of 680 points.)

I understand that if I'm inflating this year's pick, it stands to reason that the 26th pick would have an inflated value too. But I inflate because I know the Eagles could well use the 37th pick as trade bait, and there's a good chance it will have more value in dealing for a future pick (a first-round pick in next year's draft, for example).

Philadelphia has dealt a second-round pick for a one the following year. And with such a strong crop atop the draft, it would stand to reason that the 37th pick in 2010 would be worth a first-rounder in 2011 to many teams. So if McNabb ends up being worth picks in the middle of round one and middle of round three, for example, in 2011, then we'd be talking about much greater value than we're talking about now.

The Eagles had three quarterbacks in the last year of their contracts. They wanted to keep Kevin Kolb to be the quarterback of the future. It's hard to allow Kolb to be that quarterback of the future if he sits behind a 33-year-old McNabb. This is one reason the Eagles didn't have a great market for McNabb. As ex-GM Charley Casserly told me this morning: "There are two ways to consider trades. One is theoretical; if Rob Johnson were traded for the eighth pick in the draft, then Donovan McNabb is certainly worth more than a two and a lower pick next year. But the second way is dependent on the year. And this is just a different year. It's what you can get for a player when you really want to trade him.''

If I told you that you could get the 26th pick for a player you felt like you really wanted to trade, wouldn't you think that's a good deal? I would -- even if the player ends up on a division rival -- if you're confident the player you have is better, and if you're confident the player you're trading has enough inadequacies to his game that you don't think he can hurt you.

That last point is probably the key to this trade. And only Reid and the coaches closest to him know if it's true. You can be sure of one thing: Eagle fans will remind them, quite loudly, if they erred.

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