By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 8:12 am in Oakland Raiders.
On vacation last week, during which time it seemed by acclimation that it would be a good move for the Raiders to trade for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
It was likened to a Rich Gannon move, picking up a respected leader in his 30s who would immediately upgrade the position and give the Raiders credibility where they need it most.
Check out McNabb’s career stat line and reputation as a winning player and it indeed seems like a no-brainer.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Raiders are the “team to beat” in regard to landing McNabb.
Without even getting into compensation, the McNabb as starter scenario isn’t ideal for the following reasons:
– Gannon came to the Raiders with young, fresh legs, the result of having spent a lot of time on the bench. McNabb somes in as a much older 33, having been sacked 357 times over the course of his career.
As a young buck, McNabb once rushed for 629 yards and had two other seasons over 460. He’s broken 100 yards over each of the last two years, but not by much.
Over the past five years, McNabb has played an entire 16 game season exactly once.
It’s conceivable the breakdown phase of his career is underway.
– For all the good McNabb did in 2009, remember his appearance in Oakland? Completed less than 50 percent of his passes (22 of 46), was sacked six times and hit many more times than that. Led the Eagles to nine points and lost to JaMarcus Russell.
At this stage of his career, McNabb simply doesn’t have the legs to escape a rush. Now imagine him playing behind a Raiders line which at the moment has as its starting tackles Mario Henderson on the left (faded down the stretch) and Khalif Barnes, backed up by Erik Pears, on the right.
Even if the Raiders draft a rookie tackle, there’s no guarantee he would start, and if he did, there would undoubtedly be some breakdowns during the break-in period.
And remember, the Eagles play a West Coast-style offense which emphasizes getting rid of the ball, while the Raiders want their receivers to run deeper routes.
– McNabb is due a $6.2 million roster bonus and $5 million in salary for the last year of his contract. If Russell is staying, that’s nearly $20 million tied up in two quarterbacks who can’t evade a rush as well as second-round tender Bruce Gradkowski.
With his age and contract status, McNabb is not the longterm answer to the Raiders problems. He’s a very expensive band-aid.