What’s Left From the McNabb And Kolb Trades?

As recently as last offseason, it looked like the assets acquired in the Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb trades would play a major role in re-shaping the Eagles’ defense.

But looking ahead to 2013, that probably won’t end up being the case.

It was three years ago on Easter Sunday that the Birds shipped McNabb to the Redskins in exchange for a second-round pick in 2010, along with a conditional third- or fourth-rounder in 2011.

With the second-round pick (37th overall), the Eagles selected safety Nate Allen, who has been a disappointment in his first three seasons. At the end of last year, Allen was benched in favor of Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson. The Eagles added Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips in the offseason. And they very well could draft a safety later this month, meaning Allen will be competing for a roster spot.

The other pick from the McNabb trade ended up being a fourth-rounder (No. 104 overall) in 2011. But the Eagles traded that selection to the Bucs (who took tight end Luke Stocker). In exchange, the Birds moved down 12 spots and selected linebacker Casey Matthews. They also received a fourth-round draft choice in 2012 from Tampa.

The Eagles started Matthews at middle linebacker as a rookie, moved him to SAM, benched him and then got him back into the rotation at the end of the year. In 2012, he was a complete non-factor on defense, playing 45 total snaps, per Pro Football Focus. Matthews did have 14 special-teams tackles (second on the team). He too will be fighting for a roster spot.

As for the 2012 fourth-rounder from Tampa, the Eagles used that pick as part of the package to land DeMeco Ryans. The two teams also swapped third-round picks (Nos. 76 and 88).

So overall, the Eagles used compensation from the McNabb trade for Allen, Matthews and to a large degree, Ryans.

Kolb, meanwhile, recently signed a two-year, $13 million deal with the Bills, his third team in four seasons. When the Eagles dealt him to the Cardinals, they got cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick in return. Rodgers-Cromartie is gone after two disappointing seasons, having signed with the Broncos as a free agent.

The Eagles ended up trading the second-round pick from the Kolb deal, moving down eight spots and selecting Vinny Curry. They also got a fourth-rounder from the Packers and took Brandon Boykin. Curry barely played in 2012 (89 snaps), and the Eagles will have to figure out where he fits in Billy Davis’ new defense.

Boykin looks like he’ll be a solid option as a nickel corner, and there’s a chance he could get a shot to play outside.

So overall for Kolb, they landed Rodgers-Cromartie, Curry and Boykin.

The question now is: Which of the players the Eagles landed for the two QBs figure into the team’s plans going forward?

As we mentioned above, Allen and Matthews will be fighting for roster spots. Curry is an unknown, given his limited action as a rookie and scheme fit. Ryans is a key piece, who played really well in 2012. And Boykin figures to be a solid contributor as well.

In other words, the Eagles basically got two starters on defense (when you consider how much they play nickel) for the two quarterbacks.

No one would argue that the Birds got the short end of either of the two trades – especially when you consider that McNabb threw 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his post-Eagles career, while Kolb started just 14 games for the Cardinals.

We won’t know the true results from the deals until we see if Curry, Allen and Matthews can contribute in the coming seasons. But clearly, Andy Reid, Howie Roseman and company could have done more with the compensation the team received in return.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Eagles Wake-Up Call: McNabb Tells Vick To ‘Play Pissed Off’

Donovan McNabb knows what it’s like to hear the whispers. He’s felt the sting of getting benched. And experienced the joy of proving his coaches wrong when he was inserted back in the lineup.

With Andy Reid loose in his commitment to Michael Vick lately, McNabb — a guest on Daily News Live Thursday — was asked about his benching against Baltimore in 2008 and high-end play upon his return.

“Well I played pissed off. I played pissed off because I felt like I was the Juan Castillo of the football team,” said McNabb, who led that 2008 team to a 4-1 record down the stretch en route to an NFC Championship appearance. “I felt like I got blamed for a lot of the problems that we were having. You hear rumblings of, ‘Maybe you’ll see a little bit of Kevin Kolb‘ and all of a sudden it happens, and no one has an answer for you when you sit down and talk to them. So I played pretty pissed off.”

McNabb then searched for a camera to look into.

“And if I could send a message for Mike: play pissed off. Because hey, everybody else will begin to understand and see.”

McNabb also dissected why the Eagles offense is sputtering through six games.

“The offensive line as we know is struggling, they’re struggling with one-on-one blocks,” he said. “They’re struggling on pass-off blocks…Your center is not making the right calls and getting the guys to understand that, ‘OK, this is a smash blitz, here’s a WILL, free safety blitz, we’re going to slide the protection to the opposite side to get our back out.

“You’re putting a lot of pressure on Michael Vick now to make all the blocking schemes, making sure the guys are running the right routes and then recognize what he’s seeing. And I don’t know if that’s too much pressure for him or not, but where’s the preparation? When I played here, it was, spend time with the center and make sure you both understand what you’re seeing.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

Vick will hold onto the starting job for this week and Marty Mornhinweg will continue to call plays for him, according to a report.

Sheil gives three thoughts on the current state of the Eagles. As always, it’s worth a read.

I cranked up the coaches tape to see what was so “pathetic” about the Eagles’ final drive Sunday.

Offensive lineman Chris Williams visited the Eagles Wednesday. On Thursday he met with the Cardinals.

Investigators determined that Garrett Reid died of an accidental heroin overdose.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Peter King told 97.5 The Fanatic that this is Vick’s last shot.

“I think there has to be one final attempt with Michael Vick to make sure that he does what he is being asked to do, which is basically practice ball security.  And if he can’t then they’re going to have to do exactly what Andy did with Kevin Kolb. He’s going to have to shock the world and go with Foles.”

The Redskins are fond of former Eagle punters, apparently. In the event that Sav Rocca can’t go Sunday, Washington is taking  a look at Chas Henry, per the Washington Post.

The NFLPA is using Reggie White‘s 1996 “Smash for Cash” program to demonstrate the league’s inconsistency when it comes to the bounty issue. From PFT:

The filing from the NFLPA in the bounty case discusses White’s “Smash for Cash” program, which included $500 payments for big hits. At the time, according to the NFLPA, the NFL said the program was OK “as long as players use their own money, amounts are not exorbitant and payments aren’t for illegal hits.”

The NFLPA says that the NFL’s rules haven’t changed since then, but the NFL’s PR agenda has.

COMING UP

This has been an active bye week, hasn’t it? More to come…

Tuck: We Don’t Forget What McNabb, Jackson Did

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonThe fun part about the Eagles-Giants rivalry is that the players seem to genuinely dislike each other.

With players often switching teams and sharing agents, you don’t see a lot of that in sports anymore.

Yesterday, we wrote about the LeSean McCoy-Osi Umenyiora ongoing back-and-forth. And now, defensive lineman Justin Tuck has offered his opinion on some past Eagles-Giants moments that still irk him.

“We don’t forget anything,” Tuck told Tom Rock of Newsday. “I’m sure they don’t either. They don’t forget the 12-sack game against [Donovan] McNabb, because they’ve tried their best to block the crap out of us since then. And we don’t forget McNabb going to the sideline picking up the phone [in their January 2009 playoff game], [Jackson] tossing the ball at Perry, all different things.

“We’ll handle that on Sunday night.”

Tuck is first referring to the 2009 playoff game when Donovan McNabb scrambled out of bounds with about three minutes left and picked up the phone on the Giants’ sideline. The move prompted Fox analyst Troy Aikman to remark that sometimes, he doesn’t know what runs through McNabb’s head. The Eagles won that game, 23-11, to advance to the NFC championship, but haven’t won a playoff game since.

The DeSean Jackson incident occurred last year. The Eagles’ wideout caught a 50-yard bomb from Vince Young and proceeded to flip the ball at Giants defensive coordinatorPerry Fewell, drawing a taunting penalty and negating the gain.

The Eagles won four in a row against the Giants in 2009 and 2010, but split the two games last year as New York won the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons.

“When people ask me questions about other teams and things of that nature, I always say this: You go back to February and you see the last team that was standing,” Tuck said. “You ask any of those guys, where would they want to be on that date, they would say where we were. I don’t think we have anything to prove.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

McNabb Heading To NFL Network, Per Source

Donovan McNabb may be ready to give up any hope of returning to the NFL.

Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal first reported that McNabb is close to agreeing to a network job. A source close to McNabb tells Tim McManus that it looks like he will be doing a couple of shows for the NFL Network.

The former Eagles quarterback has been honing his television skills for years, appearing as a guest analyst on ESPN and other networks.

McNabb played six games with the Vikings last year, before being replaced by rookie Christian Ponder. It’s difficult to imagine things having gone much worse for the quarterback since the Eagles traded him on Easter Sunday in 2010. He spent one disastrous season with the Redskins and had his work ethic questioned at both stops.

The Eagles originally dealt McNabb to Washington for a second- and fourth-round pick. With the second-rounder, the Eagles selected safety Nate Allen. The swapped fourth-round picks with the Bucs and picked up an additional fourth-rounder. One of those picks turned into linebacker Casey Matthews. They used the additional fourth-rounder as part of the trade to acquire DeMeco Ryans from the Texans.

So, in all, the Eagles got Allen, Matthews and part of Ryans for McNabb.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

Twitter Mailbag: Top Receiving Tandem, ’04 Or Today?

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy MaclinEvery Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

 From @mikelom88: Hypothetical, Michael Vick gets hurt twice for 4 games total & Nick Foles plays excellent, what’s the chance Foles is the starter next year?

Brian Westbrook made a bold statement the other day, suggesting that if Vick goes down for a few games and Foles steps in and performs, that the Eagles should ride with the rookie even when Vick returns. That is not a decision that can be made lightly. If you choose to keep Vick on the bench, then you are essentially tying your future to Foles. If you pull Foles in and out of the lineup as a rookie, it’s no big deal. He doesn’t have any grand expectations and has the mindset that Vick is the guy. If you keep a healthy Vick out, however, you have a problem on your hands. He will be upset, some veterans in the locker room will be upset, and you would have to think a trade request/demand would be right around the corner. If you make that move, you better be damn sure Foles is legit.

As far as next year, logic suggests Vick is gone if Foles proves his worth in spot play.

From @SlyTango: what is the deal with Fletcher Cox? Nobody is talking about this guy at all. Should we worry about another 1st round flop?

He is probably the least of my concerns, to be honest. He is a starter already, and is going to be hard to handle inside. Maybe really hard to handle. Would you have liked to see him get more than three tackles this preseason? Yes. But you saw signs that he will be disruptive as advertised, which is what you’re looking for. If he is a bust I will be completely shocked.

From @Eazy56: Can u find out how many total receiving yds & TD’s T.O & Pinkston had in 2004 vs. D. Jac & Mac together?

Terrell Owens had 77 catches for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 14 games for the Eagles in 2004. Todd Pinkston had 36 grabs for 676 yards and a touchdown that season. That’s a combined 113 catches for 1,876 yards and 15 scores.

Maclin and Jackson’s best combined season looks to be 2010. Maclin had 70 catches for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Jackson posted 47 catches for 1,056 yards and six TDs in 14 games. That’s 117 catches for 2,020 yards and 16 touchdowns. 

Maclin and Jackson come out ahead in every category as a tandem.

The Daily News compared the ’04 team overall to the current group.

From @PhillyFollower: Who’s the next Eagle to officially retire as one?

I bounced this question off a few people, and I have to think the answer is Donovan McNabb.

Jon Runyan is a possibility, I suppose, especially since Tra Thomas just had his ceremony. His playing days might be too far gone now, though. Same for Jeremiah Trotter.

I don’t really see guys like Sheldon Brown or Lito Sheppard getting the honor, and no shot that T.O. is getting back inside the NovaCare walls. Once McNabb decides to finally hang them up, I can see  him being honored in fairly short order. David Akers also has an outside shot.

McNabb, Kolb React To Passing Of Garrett Reid

A pair of former Eagles quarterbacks expressed their sympathies upon hearing about the death of Andy Reid‘s son, Garrett.

“I was both shocked and saddened when I heard the news this morning of Garrett’s passing,” said Donovan McNabb in a statement. “During my time [in Philadelphia], both Garrett and Britt spent a lot of time around the football team and I know how much Andy loves them.  I spent a lot of time with Andy and his family; we had a great friendship…we still do. My heart goes out to Andy, Tammy and the rest of the Reid family. I cannot imagine what they are feeling right now. God be with them.”

Kevin Kolb had this to say:

“Anyone that’s been around Andy for any amount of time knows how important family is and how much his kids mean to him. This is devastating news. My heart goes out to Andy and Tammy. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them right now.”

There has been an outpouring of support for Reid and his family in the NFL community. Here is a link to some of that reaction.

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