Redskins trade for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb

The Washington Post's Cindy Boren and Mike Wise debate the impact of the Redskins' trade for Donovan McNabb.
Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, April 5, 2010; 11:00 AM

Post NFL editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, April 5 to discuss Sunday night's news that the Redskins have acquired longtime Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb for Washington's second round draft pick in this year's draft, as well as a third or fourth round pick in next year's draft.

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A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: Good morning! Let's get this "Redskins win the offseason championship" party started, shall we?


Should we be scared?: You know the old saying, if it's too good to be true? A QB who still has miles in him. Yet he's traded to an intra- division rival for not too much. Anything to be fearful of?

Cindy Boren: There's room for a lot of stuff right now: hope, fear, optimism, pessimism. (Only Redskins fans know how easy it is to experience both of the latter two simultaneously for extended periods of time.) Let's discuss fear, though. Your worry is not unfounded. Do you think Andy Reid and the Eagles, who are reasonably astute talent evaluators, know something about McNabb or have seen something that indicates to them he's done? Isn't that why you'd trade him to a division rival? Don't they have to have made the move knowing McNabb won't beat them? Or is it just that Andy Reid, that big puddle of love, wanted to do something nice for his QB and shipped him to Washington rather than Oakland/Jacksonville/another NFL garden spot? While a pitcher of Kool-Aid is quite refreshing, you are right to ask yourself those questions and to worry.


Boulder, Colo.: Are they going to trade Albert and Leron for draft picks? What do you think their draft value is? What about Jason Campbell's value?

Cindy Boren: There's no question they'd like to unload both Haynesworth and Landry. (If you have any doubts about Shanahan's feelings about Haynesworth, I invite you to look at a video of Shanahan talking about Haynesworth that Rick Maese shot at the owners' meetings in late March. It's on our site.) At this point, whether the player in question is Campbell, Haynesworth, Landry or someone else, the Redskins aren't really dealing from a position of leverage.

I wonder if Campbell doesn't have the highest value, given that he isn't a diva and has had improving numbers behind a sieve of an offensive line. There are teams for whom Campbell would be an upgrade. Still, though, the Redskins have no hand in any move.


Annandale, Va.: When I first heard that McNabb's likely destination would be Oakland, I thought how utterly classless of the Eagles to exile him to Kurtz country.

By sending him here, as silly as this may sound, is Reid actually doing him favor? Maybe giving him a chance towards redemption since he could never seem to find any love in Philly? I hear that Reid likes McNabb a lot personally.

Cindy Boren: Oh, I think you're definitely on to something. Reid wasn't going to ship McNabb to some NFL gulag like Oakland (sorry, Steve Lewis). My God, look how long they've been together and all they've experienced together ... the NFC Championship Games, the Super Bowl, T.O., the vomiting, the benching. You can argue that shipping him to the Redskins, to play behind this offensive line, was hardly acting in McNabb's best interests, but sending him to the Redskins and to Mike and Kyle Shanahan outweighs that, I say.


Washington, D.C.: Cindy, If we can get a 2nd or 3rd rounder for Campbell, this trade will turn out to be a coup for the Skins. Or consider this. With rumors that we were shopping Landry and Haynesworth to Philly, what are the chances we can package Campbell with one of them in a trade for someone's late 1st round or 2nd round pick? Then we could use that pick for one of the "2nd tier" QB's like McCoy?

Cindy Boren: Good luck with all of those plans. I think your estimations are high.


Adams Morgan, D.C.: Who plays offensive tackle for the Redskins in 2010?

Cindy Boren: What is this "offensive tackle" position you speak of? Is it somehow important in fubball? (If so, there should be a movie made about it.) Wouldn't you like to see the Redskins take an OT with that No. 4 pick? Say, a Mr. Russell Okung? That would work for me and, remember, I was the person who arranged the Brian Orakpo pick (you're welcome!).


Austin, Texas: Assuming JC17 is headed out of town, what do you think he is worth? I have heard everything from a 2nd round pick to teams just waiting for the skins to release him!

Cindy Boren: I think teams are waiting for the Redskins to release him. Why give up picks of any ilk when you don't have to? You can just wait it out. Campbell has been on the really serious trading block for over a year now and, um, how's that worked out?


Herndon, Va.: Guru: Maybe I'm crazy, but I think this is easy to figure - McNabb is a great short-term solution at q-back, ASSUMING the o-line can be fixed enough so he doesn't get killed. Long-term, you hope you can find your quarterback of the future. Was McNabb worth a high #2 and a 3/4? I'm sure Mike Wise can answer that!

Cindy Boren: Actually, I rather like the move and agree with you (despite nagging thought that Reid knows something). Why not bring in McNabb, draft Okung, maybe get a QB later? If you're Mike Shanahan, you're not really in this for the next 10 years; you want to win and win quickly. This guy does not mess around. Why not get McNabb, who displays the leadership and ability to rally a team to win games that Campbell didn't often show, and see if you can make a run? You have to get a contract extension done, but he should be able to give you 4-5 good years.


Woodbridge, Va.: Was this another Dan Snyder move or is Shanahan/Allen really making he calls?

Cindy Boren: There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that one person and one person only made this call for the Redskins: Mike Shanahan. This is his rodeo. Bruce Allen confers with him, but Shanahan is the guy in charge. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about Allen's role. As for the owner, certainly he's there, but this is Shanahan's team.


Haynesworth value: Did I miss something or did someone say we were shopping Haynesworth? Doesn't he have almost zero value to a team with this 100 million dollar contract? I am pretty sure that every team in the NFL saw what we fans saw - a lazy, out of shape, ne'er do well. No one will want that contract. Since we are talking trades here - what is Cooley's value as there was talk of him last year as trade bait?

Cindy Boren: There are reports that the Redskins dangled the names of Haynesworth and Landry in talks. I agree with you about Haynesworth; I don't see a team taking him. (The breaking point for me was the trip off the field on the cart, only to return in the second half. Dude, the cart isn't Metro.) I think Cooley has the highest value and carries none of the baggage that drives coaches bonkers. I suppose something there is still possible.


West Palm Beach, Fla.: Rather than taking Okung (assuming he's available) with the fourth pick, don't you think there's a significant likelihood that the Redskins will try to trade down to later in the first round, take one of the lesser known tackles, and recover an additional draft pick?

Cindy Boren: That would be smart, very smart.


Ashburn, Va.: Are the chances greater now that we trade out of number 4 to 2 or 3 lower picks? I don't think Okung will be available at 4 and then we maybe get an OT +.

Cindy Boren: Again, that would be smart. As it stands now, Day 2 of the Draft (rounds 2 and 3 on April 23) are looking pretty boring.


Bend, Ore.: The only leverage the Redskins have in trading Jason now is timing. If nobody offers a draft pick for him, hold on to him till training camp and wait for somebody's QB to get injured...

I wonder if this win now mentality means the Skins might also pursue Flozell Adams in addition to drafting an OT in the first round

Cindy Boren: You have a point about timing. I had the same thought about Adams when he was released last week. He can't be worse than what the Redskins have, right? Oh, sure, I saw him get beat a few times, but he wasn't the matador that the Skins' offensive linemen last year were.


Upper Marlboro, Md.: How do you rate Washington's running game? Wasn't McNabb's success predicated on having a dynamic running back like Westbrook?

Cindy Boren: I'm not too thrilled by it, let me tell you. Westbrook was a huge part of McNabb's success in Philly. Steinberg posted a graphic done by Redskins fan and official technical advisor David Alison that shows pretty starkly the dropoff in production of Portis/Parker/Larry Johnson. I am concerned and wonder if maybe the Redskins aren't overestimating Shanahan's ability to put together a running-game-by-committee.


Washington, D.C.: What do you think this means for Jason Campbell? Is it possible that he could gain from this?

Cindy Boren: I think it's entirely possible that he could go to one of the dreadful teams for whom he would be an upgrade and have some success. I hope so. He's been incredibly decent and is a good guy. How can you not root for him...somewhere else?


Trading Campbell: Is his status really that low, that a team wouldn't want to give up a 3rd of 4th rounder to make sure they get him? Does playing in the league, even playing at a slightly better than mediocre level, mean anything? I'd rather have him than a QB taken in one of those rounds.

I see Campbell and wonder if we're seeing the next coming of Brad Johnson or Trent Green.

Cindy Boren: Wouldn't it have happened by now if it were possible, given that he's been on the block for so long? He's due to sit down with Mike Shanahan this afternoon, so let's see what that meeting brings.

With another team, he might well be the next Brad Johnson, sure. Given the annual amount of change he dealt with here and the fact that he's made of some indestructible space-age material, I'd think he could go somewhere and succeed.


Weehawken, N.J.: Out of all this I feel the worst for JC, all he has done is compete in the face of gross dysfunction. Players comments related to the new feeling of "order" around Redskins park is proof positive of the dysfunction, and yet with all that, and throw in the abysmal Oline, people expected JC to walk on water. When you look at the final QB rankings for the year he is in the middle of the pack. I don't understand why he gets dogged so bad.

Cindy Boren: I take your point and all I can say is this: Jim Zorn and his staff and now Mike and Kyle Shanahan and their staff, have looked at hours of film of this guy and do not like what they can see.


Thanks again!: Yes, thanks for the Brian Orakpo pick. You done good!!

Cindy Boren: You're welcome, Redskins Nation!


Portland, Maine: Do you think the Eagles are going to go with Kolb or will they acquire another QB with one of their picks?

Cindy Boren: They seem set on Kolb and I confess I haven't seen enough to know if they're goofy. I do know that they have another guy at the second QB spot who's had some success. I don't see them adding a third.


Washington, D.C.: McNabb needs a WR and our current group won't cut it for him.

Who do we go out and get for him as a No. 1 WR?

He also needs a line. Do we go get Flozell Adams?

Cindy Boren: There's that Owens guy...first name, Terrell. Nah, I've seen that show before. I'd address the line first, then add a WR, but that's me.


Falls Church, Va.: I don't know if you've been around DC long enough to know about the "Over The Hill Gang" but together by Allen's father. I expect to see the "R" on the helmet next year.

I assume this team will trade for an experienced left tackle. It would be foolish to have a rookie in that position next fall.

Cindy Boren: Certainly all the guys the Redskins have added in the offseason are on the wrong side of 30 and I do not like that. I spoke with NFL expert Mark Maske, who assures me that a rookie left tackle can indeed cut it in the NFL.


District Heights: Bottom line - What is going to happen to Jason????

Cindy Boren: He'll end up somewhere else. It's as simple as that.


Albany, NY: So, Cindy, I guess the big news of the day is the President at Natinals Park. How soon will the Nats knock Halladay out of the box?

Just kidding. Judging from Tracee's chat this AM it seems most people think either:

A) this is only going to work for one year or

B) this won't work at all. I think Donovan has 2-4 years left in the tank. If they can take an OL at No. 4 and trade Campbell for another lineman (or commensurate pick), and plan to draft a future QB in 2011, this could work out well. Am I reading this right? What are the odds this actually plays out this way?

Cindy Boren: How 'bout them Nats? And Butler! Is there no love for the courageous Butlerians up here?

As for the Redskins, I actually agree with you. There's no reason this shouldn't work for a few years. It's going to be tricky or impossible to get picks in return for Campbell, though.


Urbana, Md.: Hi Cindy;

So now what happens to Colt - the over 44 NCAA passing breaking QB? Will he be traded?

Cindy Boren: I hate to break this to you, but someone has to do the deprogramming and I guess it's me. The Cult of Colt may well be over. Prepare yourself. Not sure if it'll be via trade; not sure who wants him.


Terrell Owens: Ooo! Ooo! Can I be next? Can Shanny get me working with my Bro?

Cindy Boren: T.O., you're exactly what McNabb and D.C. need. Come on down!


Anonymous: The Eagles didn't get to the Super Bowl with McNabb. Why would the Redskins?

Cindy Boren: They did get to the Super Bowl. I remember it vividly! McNabb and T.O. were leading the Iggles back against the Pats in 2006 (XXXIX), remember? T.O. was gamely playing on an ankle he'd hurt in December. The Eagles were trying to score and failed to go to the no-huddle late in the game...there was some vomit...I didn't dream this, did I? The Pats won 24-21.


Colesville, Md: Does Mike Wise play tight end. They could trade Cooley for a second round pick.

Cindy Boren: They have Fred "Five Alarm" Davis; Wise is speedy but lazy when it comes to blocking. And he has hands of stone. You'd know this if you'd ever seen him type. The Redskins would seem to have some depth at tight end (Depth! A refreshing change!) and perhaps could make a deal involving Cooley.


Washington, D.C.: Is there anything about M Shanahan's or Bruce Allen's past that would indicate that they made a mistake by aquiring an "old" QB in McNabb? I think the pessimists are stuck in Zorn/Cerrato era of incompetence.

Cindy Boren: You have to get used to the fact that there's a new way of evaluating now. There isn't one special guy that Mike Shanahan absolutely has to have. There are maybe, what, 1,000 guys in the country who could play in the NFL; Shanahan and his staff will look at a bunch of people and see who can do the job. They won't get their hearts set on one guy when any one of a dozen could do a certain job. It's a good thing, although it doesn't make for sexy headlines.


West Palm Beach, Fla.: How many games will the Redskins win next year?

Cindy Boren: Well, if you figure that a coach like Shanahan could have won three that the Redskins lost last year just because of poor clock management and playcalling alone, that takes the lads to 7-9. And McNabb might have won a game or two, so you're at .500 right there. I usually refuse to predict until after the draft, but I'll make an exception for you -- and reserve the right to revise. I'll say 9-7 right now.


JC17: McNabb's biggest knock is he has started missing games with injury. I say keep JC around. Do you really want Rex Grossman to be the backup plan?

Cindy Boren: No. Ten trillion times no. You do not want Plan B to be Rex Grossman.


Washington, D.C.: Are you sure Snyder doesn't have his fingerprints on this? He doesn't need to necessarily tell Shanallen who to sign, pick, draft, trade, etc....but he can still set the "win now" philosophy and expectations that affect the way Shanallen operate. That is a form of meddling.

Cindy Boren: Possibly, but I think Shanahan wants to win now. He isn't in this to win in five years.


No. Va.: I bet McNabb will miss DeSean Jackson.

Cindy Boren: I bet you're right.


Cindy Boren: I wish I could chat a while longer, but I must make way for others now. Hope to see you on the Redskins Insider and on Twitter. Thanks so much for joining me and bringing your A game!


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