Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week:
ESPN.com's John Clayton says Kevin Kolb is worth the risk for the Cardinals:
Sure, there isn't a guarantee Kolb will become a success. He has only seven starts to his credit. Eagles coach Andy Reid is a master at developing quarterbacks, but the last two he traded -- A.J. Feeley and Donovan McNabb -- turned into first-year failures with their new teams.
The risk of acquiring Kolb is doubled by the reality that he'll end up asking for and getting a $60 million or $70 million contract. He is in the last year of his contract, and no team giving up a first-round pick or two second-rounders is going to trade for him and then let him walk in free agency.
History shows, though, a Kolb trade would be a short-term success. The debate is more the degree of the success. In the past four seasons, teams have traded for quarterbacks with moderate success.
Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders ranks the 10 worst trades of the last 25 years. He's got the Eagles' acquisition of Terrell Owens at No. 2:
One of the most complicated "trades" in history happened in 2004: This was really a three-team settlement that involved a purported trade of Owens to the Ravens, some allegedly misfiled free-agency paperwork and the kind of confusing tomfoolery that can take place only when the most inept front office (San Francisco) in the NFL tries to get rid of one of the league's most contentious players. The Niners thought they had a second-round pick from the Ravens; instead, they got a late-round pick and Whiting, who played only five games in San Francisco. The Eagles got one charmed season, situps in a driveway and a long nuclear winter when Owens undermined Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb and disrupted the Eagles' familylike chemistry.
I've got to say I disagree with Tanier on this one. Yes, the marriage ended badly, but Owens helped get the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 24 years. And that's as close as the franchise has been to the Lombardi Trophy during the Andy Reid era (and really ever).
I would argue that most Eagles fans would say that season was easily their favorite in recent memory, and maybe of all-time.
Combine that with the fact that they didn't give up much to land Owens (Brandon Whiting and a conditional fifth-round pick), and I think most fans would do that trade again in a heartbeat if they could go back in time.
Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union disagrees with Reid about how the lack of offseason workouts will affect the quality of play. Here's what he said in a guest post for Peter King on SI.com's MMQB:
Reid may not realize -- he's only been coaching in the NFL since 1992 -- that the real reason for these things is Parkinson's Law. Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
They have these things because the players make so much money that they don't work in the offseason and are available to practice.
As recently as the 1970s, there were no offseason workouts. Teams had one minicamp an offseason. Tony Dungy even worked in a Pittsburgh bank after he signed as an undrafted free agent in 1977. And Terry Bradshaw used to talk about not picking up a ball in the offseason. And maybe the players were more refreshed after having an offseason away from the game. All these offseason workouts may just wear down their bodies.
Since he got a free pass from the Philly media, Donovan McNabb was caught off-guard by the ruthless D.C. media. That what Clinton Portis thinks. No, really. Here's what he told CSN Washington:
"Anything that happened, I think that the Washington media was being so critical of the team," he said. "It was hard to really have that team bond because the media would shoot at picking it apart and tearing it apart and so critical even when the good times came. I don’t think Donovan was ready for that, even coming from Philly. I don’t think he understood the position he was coming into."
Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com has the Eagles ninth in his offseason power rankings:
The Eagles addressed two problems with their first two selections, but cornerback still remains an issue. Look for them to be fairly aggressive in filling that need in free agency. If they’re able to accomplish that, they may be better than most people think.