Stephen A. Smith: Eagles' treatment of McNabb is disgraceful

Will Donovan McNabb soon be waving goodbye to Philadelphia? The QB could go in a trade.
Will Donovan McNabb soon be waving goodbye to Philadelphia? The QB could go in a trade.
Posted: March 25, 2010

While sitting in the comfortable confines of his home in Arizona, Donovan McNabb should pick up the phone and call the NovaCare Complex. He should demand a conference call with coach Andy Reid, team president Joe Banner, and the rest of the Eagles' brass. Then he should tell each of them to go kick rocks, for all he cares. He should tell them that he's sick and tired of being this team's scapegoat, and that they're free to ship him out of this city so it gets what it deserves: the same old tired Eagles.

The franchise has as many championships as McNabb himself - in the last half-century and counting.

While Reid was in Orlando at the NFL meetings this week, discussing the future of the franchise, he decided to say something revealing for a change, at McNabb's expense.

"I'm listening [to offers] out there," Reid told The Inquirer on Tuesday. "I'm not saying I'm doing anything. But we're keeping our ears open. It's an evaluation process."

Excuse me? What evaluation process? Better yet, what does Reid need to evaluate about McNabb, after being the only head coach McNabb has had in his 11 NFL seasons?

Reid should know what underwear McNabb wears by now. The color, along with the brand.

And how can the coach talk as if Kevin (corn on the) Kolb should legitimately be uttered in the same breath as McNabb?

Give me a break.

McNabb should have demanded a trade by now. Who cares if it's to the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, or one of 13 other teams, by my count, that could desperately use McNabb's services this season? With the Eagles having adopted their new and improved turncoat mentality, the biggest mistake McNabb appears to have made does not involve interceptions or NFC championship/Super Bowl losses.

His biggest mistake was not demanding a trade years ago.

The treatment McNabb has received year after year has been disgraceful. What has taken place this off-season has surpassed betrayal. And for what, exactly? One quarterback (Michael Vick) who's still shaking off the rust of prison, and the other (Kolb) a bit rusty from riding the pine for three seasons.

To hear Reid talk, one would think the Eagles are on the verge of acquiring Brett Favre, Peyton or Eli Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees - not Vick or Kolb.

Let me be clear: Despite his flaws, I respect Andy Reid as a coach and as a person. It's fine that the Eagles are contemplating moving on. But McNabb's failures are connected at the hip with Reid's. They were supposed to be in this together. But the way the Eagles have conducted this process lacks so much sensitivity, it's offensive to hear Reid say, "We're evaluating things," as if Reid shouldn't evaluate himself.

"My position hasn't changed," McNabb said in a statement yesterday. "I've said all along that I would like to win a Super Bowl and finish my career in Philadelphia."

McNabb is being politically correct, but the Eagles, who will never admit it, are throwing him to the wolves. They're selling him out, and there appears to be no good reason for doing so.

The Eagles are not about to say, "We're rebuilding and going young," or "We've wasted opportunities over the years, particularly since we've given McNabb a grand total of two quality receivers [Terrell Owens and DeSean Jackson] in his entire career - expecting him to throw and catch the ball at the same time."

Instead, they are considering throwing McNabb and his 32,873 career passing yards out like trash.

McNabb has not been perfect, to be sure. Too many throws have been too low, too high or too hard. He hasn't always come through under pressure. But there's something to be said for getting the Eagles in position, for keeping them relevant, for being class personified along the way.

It doesn't mean he should stay. But he deserved better than a possible departure attached to some sort of blame.

It's unconscionable, classless, weak - and too ridiculous for McNabb to deal with any longer.


Contact columnist Stephen A. Smith at 215-854-5846.

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