Talk pro football with SI.com's Andrew Perloff in Huddle Up, a forum to discuss the hottest topics around the NFL.
5/09/2007 01:59:00 PM
Tough luck Donovan
Donovan McNabb said he was "shocked" the Eagles selected a quarterback in the second round of last week's draft.
Ten days after the draft, the one pick that still is causing a stir is the Eagles' selection of quarterback Kevin Kolb with the No. 36 overall pick. Donovan McNabb said he was shocked by the pick, but would do his best to help the rookie. But it didn't take long for the media to create a minor storm in Philly.
I don't think there will be an old-fashioned QB controversy any time soon. This is McNabb's team and he's still a Pro Bowl-level player. But I do think we can read a lot into what the selection means and it's not all good for McNabb.
1. McNabb is not going to get Tom Brady-Peyton Manning money.
Philadelphia papers reported contract talks between McNabb and the Eagles didn't go very well last fall before he tore his ACL. McNabb is due $5.5 million this year, $6.3 million in '08 and close to $20 million combined for '09 and '10 -- money he wouldn't likely see. Philly is known for drafting players at positions where veterans are facing tough negotiations (e.g. taking Ryan Moats while they had Brian Westbrook) and not showing much love for veterans over 30. McNabb is 30.
2. Kolb is the real deal.
Although the Eagles may very well have considered McNabb's contract, don't think that means Kolb is merely a bargaining chip. The Eagles probably had Kolb ranked higher than Brady Quinn and knew several other teams were interested in taking the Houston QB. The NFL Network's Adam Schefter reported one team -- my guess is the Jaguars -- had Kolb ranked as the 12th best player in the draft. One source close to Kolb told me the Patriots were looking closely at him and were a candidate to take him at No. 28 before they dealt the pick (talk about a selection that would have raised eyebrows). The Packers were also interested in Kolb (sorry Aaron Rodgers). The fact that teams like New England and Philly liked him is a great sign. I think the Eagles believe they drafted a future Pro Bowl quarterback, which is the NFL's most precious commodity.
3. For better or worse, the Eagles are comfortable with their WR corps.
They had a shot at Robert Meachem, Craig Davis and Anthony Gonzalez with the No. 26 pick before they traded it to Dallas. Then they could have selected Sidney Rice, Steve Smith or Dwayne Jarrett at No. 36. They head into camp with Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, Bethel Johnson, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett at receiver. The only receiver that has really jelled with McNabb as a No. 1 receiver is Terrell Owens and there isn't a receiver half as good as T.O. in Eagles camp. This is one issue McNabb definitely has a right to be concerned about.
4. The Eagles aren't comfortable with McNabb's lack of durability.
McNabb appears on track to recover from his ACL injury and be on the field midway through the preseason. But he has played more than 10 games in only two of the last five seasons.
5. The Eagles may be rethinking their offense after last year.
Maybe they learned something when Jeff Garcia was at the helm. McNabb even admitted Philly was scoring too quickly last season when he was racking up huge numbers before the injury. Kolb doesn't have anywhere near the arm strength of McNabb, but Kolb's accuracy makes him a great fit for the kind of ball-control offense the Eagles used to win their last five games of '07.