The Eagles stirred up a lot of dust a few weeks ago when head coach Andy Reid admitted that he was taking offers for all of his quarterbacks, including longtime starter Donovan McNabb. Plenty of teams jumped into the race for the perrenial Pro Bowler– the Raiders included. But with the Eagles reportedly looking for a pick among the top 42 in this year’s draft, most teams have dropped out of contention as they were unwilling to part with such a high selection.
Now reports are that the Raiders are the lone suitor left in the race according the ESPN’s Adam Shefter. The Raiders have the 39th pick in the draft which fits with the demands set forth by the Eagles to teams interested in acquiring McNabb. There were various previous reports that had the Raiders also sending Asomugha to Philadelphia and the Eagles including Asante Samuel in the deal. But those were either just rumors are simply passing ideas that never materialized.
At first glance, this looks like a no brainer for the Raiders. But at closer inspection, it extremely risky. Mainly because McNabb has just one year left on his current contract. Any team trading for him is going to want to sign him long-term. Among the teams that have shown interest in signing him are the Bills and the Raiders. And upon first hearing which teams were interested in him, McNabb plainly stated that if he is going to sign a long-term deal, he wants to go to a team ready to win. And the Bills and the Raiders were the two teams he wouldn’t sign with. This is also a situation where the franchise tag price would be astronomical. So either the Raiders push harder to get him to change his mind and sign long-term or they would be taking a huge risk of this deal being a disaster.
The possibility of that disaster would hinge a lot on McNabb’s play actually. Last season the Raiders were able to win three games late in the season with decent play from Bruce Gradkowski. Which means the idea that McNabb could be the missing piece to lift this team back to respectibility, is not such a silly notion. And if they can become a winning team with McNabb, perhaps he would then be willing to end his career as a Raider.
It looks like the Raiders may be taking stock in that notion as well.