McNabb traded to Redskins

The Donovan McNabb era in Philadelphia is over.

But the city has not seen the last of the face of the Eagles' franchise - not by a long shot.

McNabb was traded to the division-rival Redskins for a second-round draft pick (37th overall) and either a third or fourth round pick in 2011 last night, the team announced.

"This was a very tough decision," Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "Donovan McNabb represented everything a football player could be during his 11 seasons in Philadelphia. He carried this organization to new heights and set a high standard of excellence both on and off the field. We thank him for everything he did for this football team and for this city."


Did the Eagles get enough for McNabb?

Messages left with McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, were not returned immediately last night.

McNabb, who hasn't spoken with reporters since the end of the season, released a statement two weeks ago after Reid made it clear that the Eagles were "entertaining" offers for their franchise quarterback. McNabb reiterated that he wanted to remain an Eagle, but if the Eagles were going to trade him he ask that it be done quickly.

He got his wish.

And he got the opportunity to play for a team better off than some of the other destinations in which he could have landed - Oakland, Buffalo and St. Louis were rumored to be involved in trade talks for McNabb. Through sources, he had made it clear that he did not want to play for Oakland or Buffalo.

The Redskins have struggled over the last decade, but they have a new coach in Mike Shanahan, a solid defense and an owner in Daniel Snyder always willing to spend a buck. McNabb will have also have the chance to enact some revenge on the only franchise in which he has played for.

The NFL has not released its regular season schedules yet - they should come in two weeks or so - but the date when McNabb returns to Lincoln Financial Field will be one of the hottest tickets in town.

McNabb's departure also signals the beginning of a new era for the Eagles. Kevin Kolb will take over as quarterback after sitting behind McNabb for three seasons.

"Donovan McNabb was more than a franchise quarterback for this team," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "He truly embodied all of the attributes of a great quarterback and of a great person.  He has been an excellent representative of this organization and the entire National Football League both on and off the field.

"I look forward to honoring him as of the greatest Eagles of all-time and hopefully see in enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton one day. I wish Donovan and his beautiful family great health and joy for many, many years to come."

McNabb's place in Eagles lore has been cemented. Reid's first draft pick with the Eagles and the second overall pick in 1999, the Syracuse product went on to guide the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. He earned six Pro Bowl selections and stands as the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards, touchdown passes, pass attempts, and completions.

"Donovan is the ultimate professional," Eagles president Joe Banner said. "He has an incredible work ethic and has been an integral part of our success. Over the years, Donovan has always carried himself with a great deal of dignity.

"He's an excellent role model for young men and women from across the region. In my mind, he'll always be remembered as one of the greatest Eagles of all time."

But his resume has one glaring hole. He never won a Lombardi Trophy. And the longer he was unable to bring the city a title the more divisive a figure he had become in a town fanatic about its football.

McNabb supporters had plenty of ammunition. He was the organization's greatest quarterback of all time, having led the team to heights it had rarely reached before. They faulted Reid for not surrounding him with enough offensive weapons and they hearkened back to draft day when a group of Eagles fans traveled to New York and booed the team for selecting the quarterback instead of taking Texas running back Ricky Williams.

McNabb detractors - or "haters," as they had come to be known - had grown increasingly tired of McNabb's supposed inaccuracy. They pointed to his occasional inability to win in a big spot and they used his performance in the Super Bowl XXXIX against the Patriots as proof.

He threw three touchdowns in the 24-21 loss, but he also tossed three interceptions and disputably vomited late in the game.

The Eagles will be questioned about the timing of this move - coming on Easter and a day before the Phillies opener - and trading to a division rival.