The Washington Post

McNabb to Redskins Trade -- First Things First with Tracee Hamilton

Apr 05, 2010

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

It's Opening Day, so that means, of course, that we'll be talking ... Redskins! The Sunday deal that brought Donovan McNabb to Washington will be the hot topic. The trade puts an end to a lot of the quarterback speculation leading into the draft ... or does it?

Of course, baseball and the national championship are still fair game as well.

Tracee, this weekend featured the Final Four games, baseball's opening game between the Sox and Yanks, hockey teams jockeying for playoff positions, and big NFL trade news...why is it that this all happened on the nicest weekend of the year (and really one of the nicest since I moved to Washington from KANSAS 7 years ago) and not when we were snowed in?

Ha! The gods are punishing you for leaving Kansas, of course. They've been punishing me for 27 years now.

Starting a little early today because I can't go late, if that makes any sense, and we're sure to have a lot of questions. So I'm going to dive in here in just a sec; gotta go wake up my nephew first. (I have many flaws but I am a terrific aunt.)

Tracee, what was your initial reaction to the trade? Shock? Incredulity? Hope?

Yes. Well, shock and incredulity, certainly. Then came the "thank God they aren't going to take Jimmy Clausen" followed by "well, wait just a minute, we don't know that" followed by sleepiness.

I was under the impression that Bruce Allan and The Mad Scientist were supposed to turn this team around? IF the Eagles thought that McNabb could play even a LITTLE BIT - would they have traded them to a DIVISIONAL OPPONENT??? I think not - not even the Eagles are that stupid. But apparently the 'Skins are dumb enough to make that call. I thought our Owner was gonna stay out of the process??? This is a disaster...

Perhaps Andy Reid realized his own job was in jeopardy and decided to cut the cord. I know this is a typical Snyder-like move, but we have zero indications this isn't what Shanahallen wanted so let's not be too quick. Maybe they brought in McNabb because they felt he would do better at grooming at young QB than would Campbell, who in some ways -- confidence being one -- is still a young QB himself.

This isn't their 10-year plan. Can't be. It might be their two-year plan. Or perhaps their one-year plan.

What do you think the Redskin thought process was? It seems McNabb is on the down side of his career and would be a short term solution at best. The one positive is that it appears the Redskins will not draft a QB with the 4th pick but will try to fill a hole on the offensive line which will help long term. Eric Sheinin

My first thought was "thank god they'll take an O lineman at No. 4." and my second thought was "maybe not."

Yes, he's a short-term solution. This solves the problem of who starts this fall -- don't tell me McNabb is going to compete for the job with Colt Brennan.

But will they still take a QB? That's the big question. The big big question. They don't have a second rounder. They don't have a third rounder. So where is the QB of the future to come from? This is what has me confused. I am hoping there will be some type of gathering at Redskins Park today so we can get some answers, but not counting on it.

Hi, I'm from St. Louis, and I was wondering, with Washington trading for McNabb, does this mean Shanahan isn't that impressed with Sam Bradford after all? Instead of trading up with the Rams, they opted to trade for McNabb. What do you think? Thank you!

See previous. I don't think it means anything of the sort. Which is the scary thing if you're a Redskins fan wanting a few linemen -- I don't think they are necessarily out of the QB race at all.

Is this nuts?

Well, what's nuts is the message boards in Philly, saying good riddance. Not surprising, but still ... The guy gave you some good years, show some respect.

That said, I don't think this is nuts. I think McNabb is an upgrade this season. What follows this move, that could be nuts. That's what remains to be seen.

I can't believe that Philly would trade inside the division like that, any insight on this ???

They obviously think the new kid -- Kolb -- is better than McNabb or they wouldn't make this move. They also think that even with McNabb, they can beat the Skins next season.

Count on the Redskins to steal the Nats' thunder on Opening Day! I don't see that this clarifies the Skins' QB situation; rather, it confuses it. I do hope Jason Campbell gets a true chance somewhere else. On the other hand, despite massive extenuating circumstances, 5 years is a long time to wait for a QB to develop.

Agree on all counts. I hope Campbell catches on some place the way I hoped Zorn would be fired -- too painful to watch for another season.

Do you really think that a once great quarterback such as Donovan can overcome the chaos that has become the Redskins? It takes more than a quarterback to make a team and the fact that this team has been so mismanaged by the ownership, makes it harder to make the transition to a perennial winner. Donovan may only have a year or two left in him before he will retire. Couple that with the shoddy offensive line, Donovan may retire before then.

I think he can give them one good season. I certainly don't think he's the QB Shanahallen wants long term. The more I think about it, the more I think we're not done with the QB in the draft question...

I realize the world will be pulling for Butler tonight, but can you concede that just maybe, maybe, Duke deserved that #1 seed after all? Or is Duke only in the championship because they had the "easiest" path?

I can conceded Duke was maybe No. 4 overall instead of No. 5, sure. I also thought they were much improved  against West Virginia than they were in the ACC tournament. They were a team that got better during the tourney, which happens. That said, they did have the easiest bracket. It didn't hurt them any. Are they deserving of being in the title game? Sure.

What time is the presser? Is it today?

Oh yeah, is already selling his jersey.....yikes.

Already selling his jersey? Amazing.

Awaiting word on the presser. Might be tomorrow; haven't heard.

Whatever the verdict turns out to be on the trade for Donovan McNabb, this news almost certainly means that Campbell will be traded. What is a reasonable expectation of his trade value? McNabb required a high second and 3rd or 4th; is Campbel, younger but without the same level of reputation worth a low second and a lower choice (5 or 6) or will his value be more like a third rounder? And does the loss of the trade picks make it more likely that the Skins trade down for more choices?

I think Campbell might trade a third or fourth rounder. Doesn't seem likely they'll get rid of him otherwise; a team would have to give up a first-rounder to sign him as a free agent.

Will the Skins trade down for picks? That all depends on the QB/draft situation, and as of this morning, I don't think we know the answer to that question. They won't trade down if they need to draft the QB of the future.

Duke, despite your bad-mouthing them, has had one of the great team tournament performances in the NCAA. So I'm expecting that you see Butler winning.

Wow. I said I thought Duke was the fifth best team in the tournament, going in, and that has been turned into me trashing them? Yeesh. I wasn't going to rave about a team that couldn't win the ACC title outright in a year the ACC was ... not very good. As I said before, I think Duke looked as good Saturday night as anyone I've seen in the tournament. I can't imagine Butler beating them.

Will I be rooting for Butler? Of course. It would be a great story. Journalists TEND to root for the story. Not always, but usually.

Since I'm not an Eagles expert, what's your opinion on their QB situation now? Didn't they just get weaker in the starting QB area? Thanks.

They obviously think Kevin Kolb is the answer, with Vick remaining in the backup/Wildcat role. One Philly guy said that Kolb will be great because he hunts boar with a knife. Not sure how that skill translates to QB, but I guess he's gutsy. But there's no way they trade McNabb is they don't think Kolb is ready.

Well, the 2 Mikes (Mike Wise and Mike Wilbon) eloquently stated the case for and against bringing McNabb to DC.

I'm with M. Wise on this one -- I feel sorry for Jason Campbell but was looking forward to drafting a young QB of the future. I think McNabb is an old 32. But since I bleed burgundy and gold, I'm hoping to be proven wrong.

Well, cheer up! I still don't think one precludes the other. Shanahallen is playing this close to the vest and we may not know their thinking until draft night, but I don't think a QB is necessarily out of the plans at this point.

Why is everyone so confused about this? Wise's column couldn't have been farther off the mark. A team with a top flight QB is an instant contender. It's that simple. McNabb makes us legit, period.

Do we still have work to do on the O-line? Of course, and they will do it. Do we still need a QB of the future? Yes, and next year's draft looks to be much deeper for signal callers and nobody thinks McNabb doesn't have at least 3 good years left in him.

We got a top ten QB to mentor what is a young group at the skill positions. Take Okung and more lineman late this year. Get your QB and RB next year all while being a legit contender. Its a great move for a proven winner at nowhere near the cost of Cutler. I say A+!

This is certainly a possibility -- waiting one more year for a QB. Let's face it, they looked at a lot of QBs but other than Bradford, there is no one there who makes your heart go pitter-pat. Plug some holes this year and get a QB next year? Possible.

This is going to get done, right? Old guys love to come to the Skins to get that one big final paycheck. 3 years, $39 million or so sounds about right...

Well, if the plan from the question from above goes into effect, they'll need to give him an extension. They would surely want at least one season with McNabb and the QBOFT (quarterback of the future) playing together, right?

What are the chances Danny follows this up with T.O.? Laugh if you will, but apparently he and #5 have patched things up, and this way, T.O. gets to continue his tour of the NFC East.

After last night, nothing this bunch does would surprise me.

Just told that the presser is tomorrow, FYI.

The Redskins dropped a bunch of aging players with a lot of experience and, instead of getting younger, they seem to be bringing in different aging players with a lot of experience.

If the Redskins were really this close to going to a Super Bowl, why not keep character guys who can still play like Rock Cartwright, Ladell Betts and Cornelius Griffin?

Other teams' aging players always look better than your aging players, I guess. They did lose some character guys, no question.

Should we expect Okung will be drafted with the #4 pick?

If I knew the answer to this one ...I hope the answer is yes. And I'll bet McNabb hopes the answer is yes, too. At 32, surely he'd like the line to improve just as much as we would?

If I'm Jason Campbell I've been on the phone with my agent since last night with only one thought. GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!

If I'm Jason Campbell I might have made that phone call a few months ago...

Well, it's opening day at Redskins Park. Any chance McNabb can outduel Halladay today? What's our best hope, Lannan breaking Utley's hand with a pitch? Two Zim grandslams??

My friend Richard Justice suggested McNabb oust Obama as First Pitch dude. I mean, he's the Skins' QB! President Schmesident.

Mr. Jay Glazer from FoxSports reported that the 'Skins tried to trade Haynesworth and Landry. Any truth to that?

I haven't had time to check this out with our Skins crew, but I'll throw it out there for everyone's edification and suggest you all check in with Cindy Boren at 11 a.m. on her chat. Her info will be 60 minutes fresher! It's like getting to the bakery just as they pull out a fresh loaf from the oven.

Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions! Let's talk tomorrow.

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinons and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from geneology to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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