Donovan McNabb (Gene J. Puskar)
Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said the Eagles are entertaining a few trade offers for their quarterbacks, and with that the trade rumors shifted into overdrive. The Rams have issued a denial, but other teams like the Vikings are being mentioned as a possibility if Brett Favre decides to retire (for good). For now, most everyone expects Favre to return, making the McNabb-to-Minnesota rumors moot.
As if the Vikings didn’t have any less leverage with Brett Favre’s decision whether he wants to come back, much of the buzz around the owners meetings was a rumor that Donovan McNabb was close to being traded to St. Louis for the 33rd pick in the draft.
In the immediate aftermath of the Bayou Beatdown Favre absorbed at the hands of the Saints, there was a lot of speculation as to whether that would be his last game. As conflicting reports emerged, those that took the side that Favre was going to retire were quick to mention that the Vikings would be interested in McNabb. He was viewed as a backup plan. Would most Vikings fans want McNabb over Favre? No. But would they prefer McNabb to Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson?
The interesting part of the McNabb-to-Louis rumor, aside from the “zero truth” comment from the Rams about the reports surfacing on a trade, is that Eagles coach Andy Reid likely got the trade rumors going by saying he has three quarterbacks and all could be starters, but added the team would listen to trade offers.
Almost immediately after, it was assumed that McNabb would be the one traded and the rumor snowballed quickly. But was that really who Reid is looking to move? The Eagles were the first team to step up and say they would give Michael Vick a chance to reclaim his NFL career after his release from prison. By all accounts, he has been a model teammate and has his life back on track. While he likely wouldn’t command more than a third- of fourth-round pick in trade, in the NFL there are two things that are currency – quarterbacks with starter skills and draft picks.
In the end, it’s probably no better than 50-50 that the Eagles head into the 2010 regular season with all three QBs on the roster. With as many teams that are looking for help, any of the three – McNabb, Vick or Kevin Kolb – would be appealing. Reid just perked the ears of every G.M. and coach in the league looking for a quick-fix attempt at QB. Will it work? Check back in August (or tomorrow) and see if all three are still with the Eagles.
Brad Childress seemed a little saltier than usual Wednesday when asked about the changes to the overtime that passed 28-4 with the Vikings casting one of the few “no” votes to what was being dubbed “The Favre Rule.” It wasn’t over the rule being passed, but when it was passed. The owners voted on the measure Tuesday, while several coaches were out on a golf outing. Childress said he expected the matter to be discussed as late as Wednesday, but the vote came without any input from the coaches.
Despite owner Zygi Wilf voting against the new overtime rule for the playoffs, he did say that, for the sake of consistency, he would be in favor of voting for the rule to be in effect during the regular season as well. The owners will meet again in May, this time in Dallas, where expanding the new rule could also see a vote.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports was at the owners meetings and said from the people he has spoken with, it is the unanimous opinion of the movers and shakers of the NFL that Favre will be back in 2010.
Childress and longtime friend and coaching mate Andy Reid will be part of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour that will visit soldiers in the Middle East in June.
One of the items passed at the owners meeting was a modification to its player uniform numbering system. Until this year, centers had to have a number between 50 and 59 unless none were available. That was changed from 50 to 79. Defensive linemen can now have numbers between 60 and 70 and 90 and 99, while linebackers can have numbers from 50 to 59 and 90 to 99. The rule was changed to attempt to relieve confusion among 3-4 defenses, where linebackers often wear defensive linemen numbers – although since both can wear Nos. 90 to 99, it seems there still may be some gaps in the system.
As part of its pre-draft coverage, The Sporting News lists a team’s draft needs and a two-deep projected roster. The Jets are being tabbed as a team looking for a wide receiver and why not? On TSN’s two-deep for the Jets, former Viking Aundrae Allison’s name appears as the primary backup to Jerricho Cotchery. Place your bets. The Jets take a wideout in the first two rounds or make a trade to get a veteran.
In what may years from now be seen as a pioneering move in the NFL, the league and its alumni associated have partnered to establish a neurological care program for retired players. Intended to address quality of life issues, neurological specialists at hospitals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and St. Louis will be available to former players for testing and evaluations. For years, the NFL was viewed as attempting to deny any long-term links between playing the game and authorizing disability payments to players of yesteryear – with little assistance from the current players association. This is a positive step in helping educate players about the dangers of head trauma and what the lasting impacts can be, as well as providing much-belated help to those who have been suffering in silence for years.