Reid on McNabb trade

Here's the transcript of Andy Reid's news conference with reporters an hour after the Eagles announced they had traded quarterback Donovan McNabb:

“I’m here to announce that we’ve traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for their second round pick and then a pick next year, a fourth round pick that can become a third round pick next year. Obviously that was a tough decision to make in trading Donovan. He was such a great player here for 11 years and set every record that you can set with this organization. A great example on and off the field and everything he’s done. I have nothing but good things to say about Donovan. Unfortunately, things like this happen in the National Football League and I’ve said this before, when we talk about Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook, if you’re lucky enough to stay around as long as when I have, then you’re going to go through situations like this where you have to go in a different direction. Obviously we have a lot of confidence in Kevin Kolb to make this decision. He will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. As far as Washington goes, we thought that this was best for Donovan and obviously the compensation was right. Again, obviously, we thought through this like we do every move we make. This will be a good situation for Donovan and also I will say it’s a good situation for [Redskins head coach] Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins. They’ve acquired a tremendous football player and I will always wish Donovan the best of luck with the exception of the two weeks during the year.”

On whether he has talked to McNabb:
“I have gotten a chance to talk to Donovan.”

On how the conversation went with McNabb:
“Listen, Donovan and I have a great relationship. He understands the business. I’m not trying to sugarcoat this either. I know it’s tough on him but I know he’ll do a fine job down there. He was very good, though.”

On how tough it was on him and the organization to trade McNabb:
“Well, listen, it was tough on all of us. I’m saying [chairman and CEO] Jeff Lurie, [president] Joe Banner, [general manager] Howie Roseman, all the coaches. I haven’t had a chance to talk to all of them, obviously. It was tough on all of us. As far as myself, I was very close with Donovan and I’ll remain close with Donovan; that part won’t change. You can’t erase the last 11 years. We had 11 great years together and I know he’ll go on and have success the remaining part of his career.”

On when he decided it was time to move on:
“We sat back and we listened to offers and what I told you before, we listened to offers on all three quarterbacks. We came out of it that this was the good time, that this was the way we were going to go. The compensation was right.”

On why moves like this have to be done:
“There are a couple reasons. First, obviously, you have three quarterbacks that have a year left on their contracts and then the confidence that we have in Kevin. No matter how you look at this, is a young and upcoming player who I think everybody in our building has a tremendous amount of confidence in him.”

On his confidence in Kolb:
“Number one, he’s been taught by good coaches and also had the opportunity to play under Donovan which, I think, is a big thing. [He] learned how to do it the right way. He’s followed that direction and put a lot of effort into preparing himself for this opportunity. So, we see the leadership and the athletic ability and he does a nice job reading defenses and so on. He has a pretty good feel for the position.”

On whether the team is rebuilding:
“I don’t know if we’re rebuilding. I don’t see it that way. I see it as when it’s time to play we’ll have a good football team. We try to do everything that’s best for the team and we just felt that these moves will help us down the road here.”

On whether it was a concern to trade McNabb inside the division:
“You can’t say that we didn’t think about that. We did, but this was a decision that we thought was best for Donovan and, at the same time, the compensation was right for us. We certainly took into consideration Donovan’s feelings here, too.”

On whether there were better offers elsewhere:
“I’m not going to get into that. I’m just going to say what I said there that this was a good place for Donovan and the compensation was good.”

On whether this move turns the Redskins into a contender:
“Are they a better football team with Donovan? Absolutely. Again, we’ll be there a couple Sundays with him and we’ll see how things go at that time.”

On whether this team can compete for a Super Bowl this upcoming season:
“Well, we’ll see. We’re sitting here on Easter Sunday and I don’t think the season starts for quite a while. We’ll see down the road how things come together and I think we’ll be a pretty good team when it’s all said and done.”

On taking McNabb’s feelings into consideration regarding a trade:
“Well, we’ve been together awhile and developed a relationship. I think our organization felt that way about him. So, we wanted to inevitably do what was good for us and good for Donovan. If you could find a nice mix there, then that’s what we would do. We felt that was the situation.”

On what changed since saying that McNabb was the team’s quarterback coming out of last season:
“I think when you really look at it, all three quarterbacks had a year left and so we sat back and we listened. That was going to happen. That’s what happens in this league when you deal with that type of situation. We sat back and we listened and we felt that this was an opportunity to make a move. One that helped us and was also good for the player.”

On whether something changed between now and a month ago when he emphasized that McNabb was the team’s starting quarterback:
“No, he was the starting quarterback until he went elsewhere. There’s nothing that changed. It’s very hard to predict the future in this league. I couldn’t have told you at that time that this was going to happen. I was honest with you that I listened and, again, I did what I thought and what Joe and Howie and Jeffrey and what we all thought was best for this organization.”

On McNabb’s legacy in Philadelphia:
“I think it should be that he was the greatest quarterback ever to play for the Philadelphia Eagles to this point.”

On whether trading McNabb inside the division was a factor prior to this offer:
“Was it a thought? It was a thought because of the talk by the Washington Redskins. Does that necessarily matter? Well, I can’t sit here and say that it does because we did it. That’s how that goes. I mean you’ve seen things like this throughout the league, you’ve seen other quarterbacks have moved on to one area where the compensation wasn’t very good and then ended up where they wanted to be. You’ve seen all different kind of things happen. You saw Drew Bledsoe leave the Patriots and end up with the Buffalo Bills. Again, there are a number of things that have gone on in this league over the years so I just felt that this was best for us and best for Donovan.”

On whether McNabb expressed to him about where he wanted to and didn’t want to play:
“I would say this, Donovan would’ve played anywhere because that’s the kind of person he is. I would never slight other teams that were involved in this. I do know that Donovan is happy about this; the team that he’s going to. He will do a nice job there.”

On the specific feelings that McNabb expressed about playing for the Washington Redskins:
“He’s happy to be there. He’ll do a nice job.”

On whether Kevin Kolb can be as good or better than McNabb this upcoming season:
“I don’t have a crystal ball here. I’m not going to say that. I think that Kevin now needs to go prove that and be Kevin Kolb and not Donovan McNabb. He needs to make his own mark and be his own man there and go do his thing. He has not done that. That’s something that will be a great challenge for him coming up this year. Everything else is a subjective decision on my part saying that I’ve got the confidence in him to do this.”

On whether he went back to McNabb after receiving certain offers:
“Unfortunately, you can’t do that necessarily. You have a pretty good idea of what he’s thinking, but you don’t have the opportunity to do that as each and every team comes up. That’s not just how this works.”

On seeking McNabb’s opinion about the Redskins before accepting the trade:
“I did, I did talk to him. Well, I talked to his agent, yes.”

On whether they waited for McNabb’s response before accepting the trade:
“I took it into consideration but, like I said, he had some good football teams that were interested in him. I’m not going to slight any other teams. I would never do that. I just know that he was fine with going to the Redskins and he’ll do a fine job for them.”

On how this all came together over the last several days:
“It was a bit of an ongoing process. You guys asked me that at the owner meetings. It’s been a long process here. Listening and evaluating all three quarterbacks but obviously things started to escalate here the last few days. I would never ask you guys to come in on Easter Sunday unless this came fully together.”

On waiting closer to the draft to make a move like this:
“You have to have a feel on that. Like I said, it has been a long process here. You have to have a feel when it’s going to come to this point where you can make the final decision and this was the day.”

On whether Michael Vick will remain in Philadelphia:
“Yeah, Michael is here right now. Absolutely.”

On whether the compensation the Eagles received for McNabb was fair:
“That’s a tough question. You can give different examples of different things. I will tell you this: the fifth pick in the second round is not a bad pick. In particular, the way the draft is set up now, when you can kind of take a deep breath after the first day and re-evaluate what you have for the next day, that’s kind of a nice pick there.“

On whether his discussion at the owner’s meetings had any relation to this move:
“Let me clear this up though. That had nothing to do with this. I was asked a specific question on the draft, not this [trade]. These aren’t related.”

On his confidence of using the traded draft pick if McNabb decided not to show up to that team:
“Knowing Donovan, that had nothing to do with it. I’m not sure exactly what you’re saying. I know how Donovan is and Donovan would go to any team in the National Football League. I know how he is wired.”

On whether McNabb would say that a certain trade was unacceptable:
“He would never do that. That’s just not how he is wired.”

On whether he got any indication from McNabb or his agent, Fletcher Smith, that McNabb would not go to any team:
“No, that’s not what happened there.”

On deciding that it was time to move in another direction:
“We were in a situation where we had three quarterbacks with one year left on their deals. All three can win football games in the National Football League and compete for championships. Two have proven themselves to do that, one is in the process. We had interest [from other teams] in all three. We sat back and we evaluated. It wasn’t any more complicated than that. We knew that situation. I can’t sit here and tell you I didn’t know that was going to happen. I knew, because of the way the league operates and because the quarterbacks were set up, contractually with one year left, that people would be interested. We sat back and listened. It was that simple. We thought we did what was best for our organization and at the same time what was best for Donovan.”

On whether he thinks about how this will go over with the players:
“I understand that. I completely understand that. I think that what these players understand is that this is part of this league. We are all very, very lucky to be in it, some of us for as long as we have been, as coaches and/or players. This is how this league works today.”

On whether he has talked to Kolb, and if so what did he say:
“He was grateful for the opportunity. He feels, obviously, that he owes Donovan a lot, for where he is right now. He was very humble, as both guys were—Donovan and Kevin.”

On whether they will try to work out a new contract for Kolb:
“We will see how things go down the road here. It’s a little bit unstable right now with the CBA. We’ll work that out as it comes.”

On who the veteran offensive leaders are:
“That’s a good question because Kevin becomes one of them. One of the things I’ve mentioned is that I think he’s a good leader. I think we have some tremendous leaders up front. [WR] DeSean Jackson has turned into a kid that has shown leadership ability. [TE] Brent Celek is one of our primary leaders.”

On his one memory of McNabb:
“There are so many of them. Right when you said it, I thought of fourth-and-26. There were a lot of those days. He’s made a mark in the city of Philadelphia and I know he’s going to be a future Hall of Famer. He has made a mark every year he has played.”

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