Behind the McNabb trade

When Kevin Kolb meets with reporters today at 12:30 p.m. it will essentially be his introduction as the Eagles' new starting quarterback and it will unofficially signal the end of one era and the beginning of another.

But Donovan McNabb's departure from Philadelphia and how it came to be will be discussed for days, weeks and maybe ever longer than that. So let's look behind the scenes. Here are the essentials:

-- Washington was one of at least a "dozen teams" to have inquired about McNabb since the end of season, according to a league source.

-- The Redskins didn't think they could get the deal done initially and didn't even know if they wanted McNabb or wanted to draft a quarterback instead, per the source. New coach Mike Shanahan had made it clear at the NFL owners' meetings, however, that he wanted to upgrade at quarterback. He had given no indication, however, that he was interested in McNabb.

-- The Raiders had indeed become the front-runners last week, but McNabb, through his agent Fletcher Smith, had made it LOUD and CLEAR that he did not want to play for Oakland. According to a league source, one faction of the Eagles brain trust did not think that McNabb should ultimately dictate where he would go. Another faction was willing to consider McNabb's feelings and that's how they arrived at Washington.

-- The Redskins jumped back into the picture in the middle of last week. McNabb's camp was involved almost from the beginning. There were still other teams involved, at this point, in talks with the Eagles, but Washington moved to the forefront on Saturday. When the Redskins threw in the 2011 conditional fourth round pick on Sunday, the deal was clinched.

-- Eagles coach Andy Reid was in constant communication with Smith. If McNabb had his choice, he preferred to go to Minnesota or Arizona, according to a source close to the quarterback. But he was intrigued by the idea of playing for Shanahan, a two-time Super Bowl champion coach, who had become John Elway's coach when the quarterback was 34 and helped guide him to his first title after 14 seasons without one in Denver. McNabb is 33 and had played 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

-- McNabb's camp thought that there was still a chance that the Eagles would not trade their franchise quarterback. But when the Eagles let it be known that Michael Vick was returning and when they traded cornerback Sheldon Brown on Friday, they felt the writing was on the wall.

-- McNabb, according to those close to him, did not ultimately care that he netted the Eagles relatively little in return.

-- When asked if the Redskins' offer was the best he had received, Reid said this morning on ESPN's Mike and Mike that it was the best for all parties. As usual, he tiptoed around a straight answer.