He's the brass ring of the NFL off-season. And if he's truly available, someone will sacrifice whatever they must to have him.
Say what you want about Donovan McNabb (getting older, lack of Super Bowl rings), but above any and all other positions in the NFL, if you have a chance to get your quarterback, you have to get him. And it's not often (i.e. NEVER) that a quarterback with McNabb's abilities and resume becomes available. Thus, any quarterback-needy team would be foolish not to pay the price. Any price. Period.
I hardly think I'm overstating my case. McNabb is only 33-years-old and headed to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time in 2009. He's third in career winning percentage for active quarterbacks, behind only Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. He's near 30,000 passing yards in his career and has rushed for 3,000 more. And if you're wondering how much he has left in the tank, his 22/10 TD/INT ratio should squelch any rumors he's finished. Also for those expressing doubts about his age, you never hear the same about Peyton Manning (who's a year older) or Tom Brady (one year younger).
It's always exciting to draft the young guy and talk of all the promise for the future. "He's the guy to carry our franchise for the next decade." That's the thought. But let's be honest: every single year, multiple teams spent multiple high-round picks hoping they've grabbed such a player only to make the same attempt two or three years later. It's not just the first-round busts that get the press. It's the mid-round guys like Drew Stanton (Lions), Brian Brohn (Packers), John Beck (Dolphins), Trent Edwards (Bills), Kellen Clemens (Jets), Tarvaris Jackson (Vikings).
Concluding thoughts after the jump:It's amazing, then, that the current news is that the Eagles are looking for a top 42 pick in this year's NFL draft for McNabb. Perhaps that won't be all, but for Andy Reid to even discuss that he's available is stunning to me. Michael Vick hasn't proven a thing since he's been back, although to be fair, he's not had much of a chance. But Kevin Kolb? Really? He had an iffy game against the Saints (a big loss) and then tore up the Chiefs in another game for 327 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions (a big win).
The bottom line is this: a proven winner and performer at the quarterback position at the NFL level is the greatest rarity. Every year, numerous teams are left searching for the exact same thing that other teams like the Colts, Steelers and Patriots enjoy year after year. It's the position that took the Vikings from possible playoff hopes to Super Bowl contender. And it's a step that any team with even a question or doubt at quarterback must consider.