A few more Donovan McNabb trade salvos have erupted, both involving the Oakland Raiders. First, ESPN's Len Pasquerelli reports the Raiders are willing to trade corner Nnamdi Asomugha for McNabb, but the Eagles are reluctant to do this. There'd be a certain symmetry, since according to Yahoo.com's Charles Robinson, Oakland isn't requiring that McNabb be willing to extend his contract, and Asomugha is only signed through 2010 as well, at $16 million. ESPN's Adam Schefter says there is language in Asomugha's deal that would make it hard to franchise him for 2011.
OK, that's the most notable "new" stuff out there. Now a word about all the McNabb reports. As far as I can tell, the Eagles have battened down the hatches. Joe Banner, Howie Roseman and Andy Reid know what they are seeking and what they are being offered. I don't think they're talking to anyone in the media right now. And the Raiders are the Raiders. Nobody seems to know exactly how the front office there really functions these days; I envision it as something like Col. Kurtz's compound in "Apocalypse Now," with Al Davis in the Brando role.
I have talked to several reporters who cover the Raiders. The thing giving this McNabb trade stuff credence, in their minds, is that the Raiders are the Raiders, they do unpredictable, crazy things. Nobody in the organization there has said word one to any Oakland-area reporters about wanting McNabb. In fact, as has been reported, a couple of Raiders officials were just about as surprised to hear of it as the St. Louis people were when they "learned" they were supposed to be trading for McNabb. (Whatever happened to that trade, anyhow?)
I'm not saying reporters are making stuff up. But I am saying there is a lack of, well, obvious substance to a lot of this. I was talking to a front office guy yesterday who works for an AFC team. Pressed for what he'd "heard," he rattled off the same internet rumors I'd seen. I think he'd "heard" them the same place I did.
For whatever it's worth -- and I really don't think it's worth that much -- Oakland and Buffalo remain the two most often-mentioned possible McNabb destinations, and I don't think there is much chance he signs with either team, which would make getting a decent price very difficult. I still think San Francisco is the best fit (since Brett Favre is not retiring, it seems, making McNabb's reported desire to go to Minnesota completely irrelevant), but reporters who cover the 49ers are adamant that they've been told a McNabb trade is just not on the horizon there.
I talked to a guy not directly involved in the McNabb situation, who has some experience with NFL trades. His guess is, the Eagles come out of this with a second-round draft choice, whether it's in the top 42 or not (that was another really strange report), but only if McNabb signs an extension with the new team.
Meanwhile, in Buffalo, safety Donte Whitner has tweeted his enthusiasm for McNabb.
"I hope D+nvan McNabb comes to us. He's great."
Whitner also asked his nearly 10,000 followers whether they thought McNabb would be a good fit for the Bills. We are guessing this was not a public opinion poll authorized by the team. The early returns among Bills fans was positive.
Whitner went on to say this his mother and Donovan's mother work together in the NFL mothers committee.
The Eagles are scheduled to bring in Tennessee safety Eric Berry, considered the top defensive back prospect in the draft, for a visit, according to Yahoo Sports.
He is also visiting Cleveland, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. The other teams all have picks within the Top 10; the Eagles select 24th in the first round.
Berry won the Jim Thorpe award as the nation's top defensive back last season and had 14 interceptions in his three seasons with the Vols. He ran in the 4.4
The NFL released the full draft order during the owners meetings this week.
This is the first year of the three day draft. Round 1 will be held April 22 at 7:30, Rounds 2-3 on April 23 at 6 p.m. and Rounds 4-7 on April 24 at 10 a.m.
Here is the rundown of Eagles' selections:
Round 1: 24th overall
Round 2: 55
Round 3: 70, 87
Round 4: 121
Round 5: No pick
Round 6: 200
Round 7: 243, 244