2010 Fantasy Football: The Donovan McNabb Trade After Math
Apparently, whether you knew it or not, the Philadelphia Eagles were always intending on moving Donovan McNabb. They played the PR game, didn’t choose sides, and said what needed to be said.
But when it was all said and done, McNabb was the scape-goat (in one way or another), and he found himself on a new team.
The beautiful thing is, unlike Brett Favre two years ago, McNabb leveraged his way into landing with a division rival, the Washington Redskins.
But this has been blasted on Yahoo! Sports and ESPN for the past 24+ hours. We know what’s happened, the driving force behind it, and all the drama that will be packaged into 2010′s Philadelphia and Washington football games.
Now comes the tricky part: figuring out what this means for fantasy football. Read on for a breakdown of some players that will feel some sort of trickle effect from this blockbuster trade:
Donovan McNabb (Washington Redskins)
McNabb didn’t really want to leave Philly, but he’s exactly where he wants to be. He doesn’t have a slew of explosive offensive weapons like he did in Philly, but he does have Mike Shanahan, an offensive and quarterback guru.
McNabb still has Santana Moss and Chris Cooley to work with, and should be backed by a much more balanced overall offense than he ever had in Philadelphia, along with an impressive defense that should only continue to improve.
The question is, will McNabb’s numbers get better or worse in a less pass-heavy offense, and one that actually plays to the strengths of the game?
However, with McNabb in town and Jason Campbell as a solid back-up, the Redskins won’t feel pressured to spend their fourth overall selection on a passer, allowing them to look at instant impact upgrades on their offensive line, or possibly at receiver or safety.
Receiver may be a reach here, but landing a guy like Dez Bryant (or trading down for two picks), could help the Redskins improve their offense greatly.
There is also the 37th pick the Redskins will be acquiring from the Eagles, which should also be added into the equation.
Verdict: McNabb isn’t on a team with better talent on offense, but he’s in an arguably better system, and backed by a better overall defense. It will be hard for him to improve on last year’s numbers in a new environment, and with less weapons, but he should be able to match them.
Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia Eagles)
Kolb and the Eagles have been waiting for this day, for whatever reason, and now it’s here. We’ve seen Kolb as a shaky, frightened quarterback against the Baltimore Ravens two years ago, and we’ve also seen him as a prolific passer in two starts in 2009.
The question is, will he be a polished starter based off of learning off the bench and what he accomplished in those two starts last year, or will he once again be a deer caught in the headlights?
Plain old logic says it has to be somewhere in the middle.
From a reality stand-point, it’s unlikely the Eagles are headed to the playoffs in 2010, as their division itself should once again be highly competitive, and the NFC as a whole is filled with Super Bowl contenders.
Kolb has the arm and gusto to be a major contributor to your fantasy team, along with all the offensive weapons a young quarterback could ask for.
The only questions are, will his youth lead to too many mistakes, and will Andy Reid’s pass-heavy offense get the best of him (or the worst)?
Verdict: It may lead to more turnovers than we’d like to see, but Kolb could easily be looking at 3,500 yards and 20+ touchdowns in his first year as a starter.
Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles)
The Eagles promised and lied throughout the off-season, saying that McNabb was staying in Philly, and originally that they weren’t even entertaining trade offers.
Right, so now we’re supposed to believe Vick isn’t going anywhere, right?
If the price is right, Vick could be had by a number of teams, while the Buffalo Bills are still my choice as the front-runners.
Chan Gailey loves athletic quarterbacks, and with the possibility of still bringing Terrell Owens back (who isn’t getting a lot of love in free agency), the Bills could suddenly be a very interesting offense (along with Lee Evans).
However, until (or unless) Vick gets traded to the Bills or another quarterback-needy team, he is surely just a back-up or situational player with the Eagles.
Verdict: While that fact may be depressing for Vick fans, Vick would still remain one big hit away from being the starting quarterback in a very explosive offense.
Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame/Draft Prospect)
Everyone is operating under the (correct) assumption that the St. Louis Rams will wisen up and snag a franchise passer by drafting Sam Bradford with the top overall pick.
If this happens (and it will), that will likely mean Clausen is the next quarterback to go. And until McNabb was traded to Washington, the Redskins were rumored to be juggling three or four players on their draft day board.
Clausen was highly rumored to be one of them.
However, with two solid quarterbacks on their roster now, the Redskins won’t feel the pressure to draft Clausen or any quarterback with their fourth overall selection, which could mean they wait until the second (or even third) round, while Clausen falls lower than the fourth spot.
If this happens, Clausen falling by even that one spot could dramatically shake-up the 2010 NFL Draft, while a fall even further could force a very interesting trickle effect.
Regardless of what actually happens, it’s interesting to speculate. Sure, the Kansas City Chiefs seem content with Matt Cassel as their quarterback, but what if they’re not?
With Clausen’s former Notre Dame coach, Charlie Weiss, manning the offense, it’s a definite possibility that he puts in a good word and Clausen is drafted to surpass Cassel if he continues to falter.
And if that doesn’t happen, next up is Seattle, where the Seahawks would surely enjoy a hearty quarterback competition with Charlie Whitehurst, also giving them the freedom to get something for veteran passer Matt Hasselbeck.
However, if the Chiefs and Seahawks are content with their collection of quarterbacks (which is still possible), Clausen could continue to see a slide, while also having the chance to be taken be a number of teams.
Next up would be the Cleveland Browns. Sure, they need a quarterback, but has Mike Holmgren been honest about his lack of interest in Clausen, or is he simply hiding Cleveland’s true feelings?
It could easily be a show, but if it isn’t, Clausen would then have a good chance of landing in Oakland or Buffalo, two teams that are in desperate need for an answer at quarterback.
Again, the way this plays out down the road will still depend on what happens with the likes of Michael Vick, and even Matt Hasselbeck.
Verdict: Either way you look at it, Clausen’s final landing place is far from certain.
Devin Thomas and Malcom Kelly (Washington Redskins)
Both Thomas and Kelly have been utter disappointments for Washington, but did show glimpses of potential in a few games in 2009.
With the addition of McNabb, there is no doubt they both have a solid chance of raising their level of play. Thomas still appears to have the leg-up on the competition, and as it currently stands, would be the best bet to start opposite of Santana Moss.
With Antawn Randle El gone and McNabb in, the Redskins could potentially be looking at a new three-receiver set that is more athletic and explosive than in year’s past.
Verdict: However, there are a lot of questions that go against this working, starting with the young receivers, and ending with the chemistry they’ll need with McNabb to see them grow to their fullest potential.