For QB Donovan McNabb, his NFL career has to be one of sheer frustration. After all, when then Commission Paul Tagliabue stepped up to the microphone and announced, "With the second pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select…" everyone clad in green and white was hoping to hear the name, "Ricky Williams."
Instead, that sentence out of the commish's mouth ended with, "quarterback Donovan McNabb, Syracuse."
Let the booing begin.
The press in Philadelphia, which is known to be just a tad bit on the harsh side, made a mockery out of the move from the get go, saying how much more the Eagles would've done with Williams in their backfield than McNabb under center.
All that McNabb did in his 11 years in Philadelphia was bring the team to five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. He only threw for 216 touchdown passes against 100 picks and only ran for another 28 scores with his own two legs. He has only thrown for at least 16 touchdown passes every year since his rookie campaign. He only threw for 32,873 yards and averaged 222.1 yards per game in his career. He only completed 59.0 percent of his passes.
Oh yeah, and he's only a Hall of Famer.
But apparently, McNabb wasn't good enough for the Eagles, and now, he's been shipped out of town.
It's not unusual to see a player at the end of his career ultimately end up playing somewhere outside of the city that made him famous. After all, Emmitt Smith played in Arizona. Jerry Rice ended up in Oakland and Seattle for awhile. Joe Montana finished with the Chiefs, as did Warren Moon. Heck, even Vinny Testaverde left Tampa Bay after awhile.
But in the wee hours of Sunday night, McNabb was traded within his own division, as he is now going to be Mike Shanahan's starting quarterback as a member of the Washington Redskins.
In exchange, all that Philly got back was a second round draft pick this year, and either a third or a fourth in 2011.
You don't think that the Syracuse product has the game in Philadelphia circled on his calendar already, do you?
What this means for football bettors is that the face of the NFC East has turned over. Unless former Houston Cougars' QB Kevin Kolb or the beleaguered QB Michael Vick can prove that he is ready to step up and be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL, the Eagles are probably going to turn themselves into a team that is battling for draft position as opposed to one that is fighting for a championship.
For Washington, the need for a quarterback became apparently when QB Jason Campbell really failed to progress under the tutelage of HC Jim Zorn, who was known as a quarterback expert as a coordinator. Many thought that QB Sam Bradford out of Oklahoma was going to be the man that owner Dan Snyder looked to in the NFL Draft. But with speculation swirling that Bradford was heading to St. Louis, the Skins had to make a move.
They made a huge one.
This isn't the first time that a quarterback was traded from Philadelphia to Washington. The McNabb trade came just three days after the 46th anniversary of the Eagles trading Sonny Jurgensen to the Redskins for QB Norm Snead and DB Claude Crabb. All that Jurgensen did was become known as one of the greatest pure passers of his time and lead Washington from the depths of obscurity into a Super Bowl contender in the 1970s.
And just like Jurgensen, who was booted out of Philadelphia after simply not being good enough, McNabb faces the exact same challenge in Washington.
On yesterday's trade, Jurgensen simply said, "These guys never learn."
If the Eagles don't fly back to the playoffs in 2010 and Washington does instead, the press will still be swarming in Philadelphia, but the next people that are going to be asked to leave town for not being good enough are HC Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman.
Maybe the Eagles organization needs to look itself in the mirror. It might not have been Donovan McNabb's fault that they never won a championship after all.