Did Reid leave wiggle room on McNabb?
The Philadelphia Inquirer Blog - Eagles
Did Reid leave wiggle room on McNabb?
Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
OK, we all know that Andy Reid reiterated today what he said after Saturday's game: That Donovan McNabb is his quarterback for next season.
But did the Eagles coach leave himself some wiggle room? Can Reid say two months from now when McNabb has been dealt to the Rams, "Now, I didn't exactly say Don was definitely my quarterback."
Here's the exact question as it was phrased during Reid's season-ending press conference:
"Andy, after the game you said you envisioned Donovan being your quarterback for next season. A couple of days later, can you definitively say that he will be your quarterback next season."
Here's Reid's response:
"You said, 'I envisioned it.' I was asked if Donovan would be my quarterback next year and I said, 'Yes.' So that's what I'm saying now."
Some reporters interpreted the "now" as Reid's way of leaving himself some room. But the "now" was in reference to his answer about McNabb after Saturday's game.
Reid was then asked, "Is that your call?"
"That's my call," he said.
There you have it. It's Reid's call. But what if it isn't Reid's call? What if team president Joe Banner has the final say? If McNabb were to be traded, Reid would be labeled a liar or it would suggest that Banner had overuled Reid, which would be a change in the team's power structure.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter what Reid said. He could have said, "McNabb is my guy. Book it. Write it down in stone. Mark it in ink. I swear on the eyes of my children. Strike me down, Lord, if I'm not telling the truth. McNabb will be the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback next season," and it would have been as sincere as someone saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
As with everything Eagles-related, consider what they do, not what they say. For instance, Reid was asked if McNabb, who has one year left on his deal, needed a contract extension. It would seem inconceivable that McNabb would go into the season with just one year left on his deal. It just doesn't happen with franchise quarterbacks, especially one as scrutinized and criticized as McNabb.
"I will get on that down the road as we go," Reid said. "He got a nice little kick for the next few years here in salary. I don't think that will be a problem."
McNabb had his contract restructured last June, but he did not get the extension he had hoped for. Reid's little dig about the "little kick" could suggest that the Eagles think that was enough. It probably isn't in McNabb's eyes. He said after Saturday's game that he would welcome an extension. The longer a deal doesn't get done, the more it would suggest that McNabb was trade fodder.
Reid said that he was not aware of public opinion on the McNabb question.
"I don’t know what the questions are," Reid said. "I haven’t heard any questions other than what I was asked in here. I’m not out to analyze anything else. I was asked if it was my decision. It’s my decision. That’s what it is."
If McNabb is his starting quarterback, then what of Kevin Kolb? What of Michael Vick?
"I respect that and feel very fortunate to be in that position," Reid said. "I don’t want to give up any of them. I like them all." Reid would add later: "We’ll look at all this. I haven’t gotten to that point where I’m comparing players and contracts. We like Kevin Kolb. We like Michael Vick. We like Donovan McNabb. It’s a pretty good situation to be in as we go into the offseason."
McNabb and Vick have been starters before. Can Kolb start?
"Absolutely," Reid said. "The other two guys have proven that. They’ve been top quarterbacks in this league for years."
And so it goes ...