McNabb was 30 that year. Vick is 31 this year, and he's coming off a subpar season marred by injuries. In other words, he is at right about the point in his career that McNabb was going into the 2007 offseason.
That was the year Reid traded out of the first round of the draft, helping the Dallas Cowboys and using his first pick, a second-rounder, on Kevin Kolb.
Instead of adding a player who could help the Eagles win while McNabb's window was still open, Reid chose his eventual replacement window. It was a questionable decision at the time and it looks even worse in retrospect. (The trade also brought the pick the Eagles used on Stewart Bradley.)
Anthony Spencer, the defensive end/linebacker the Cowboys took with the 26th pick, is not the league's best pass rusher. He's not even his team's best pass rusher. That's DeMarcus Ware. But Spencer has played extremely well against the Eagles, most notably in the back-to-back losses (one a playoff game) that ended the McNabb era.
Would Spencer have made a single play to help the Eagles beat the Arizona Cardinals in the 2008 NFC championship game? How about Eric Weddle, the Pro Bowl safety taken by San Diego one pick after Kolb? Or LaMarr Woodley, the linebacker taken a few picks later, who has 48 career sacks for the Steelers?
We'll never know, but that's not really the issue. The issue is that, given a similar situation now, the same logic would lead Reid to approach this year's draft in the same way. With Vince Young all but certain to be gone and Mike Kafka looking like something less than a franchise QB, this franchise could use a legitimate young prospect at the position.
But here's the twist. In 2007, the clock was ticking much louder for McNabb than for Reid. Five years later, it is Reid's window that is about to slam shut. His personal sense of urgency makes it less likely he'll be drafting with 2014 in mind, and Vick could be the beneficiary of that.
It was true of McNabb then and it is true of Vick now. After the coach, the burden to win is greatest for the franchise quarterback. Vick's own window will only remain open for a while longer, especially considering his high-risk style.
"I have to be available to this team for 16 games," Vick said. "I have to hold myself accountable. I've got to get away from trying to do too much."
If the Eagles are going to contend for a Super Bowl on Vick's watch, they need to provide him with every possible weapon, and that includes a great defense.
That means they have to get over themselves and find a way to bring DeSean Jackson back. Maybe the Eagles can find a comparable weapon via free agency, but what will that cost? It makes much more sense to retain a guy Vick already has a relationship with, and whose impact on the entire offense should not be underestimated.
Mostly, though, it means approaching free agency and the draft with the singular idea of adding immediate help at specific positions. That's the norm with free agency, but the Eagles philosophy of stockpiling later-round draft choices should be scrapped this time around.
This team has a lot of talented players, which is why 2011 was such a disappointment. It would be better to get one or two players - linebackers or, say, linebackers - who can contribute immediately in 2012 than five or six players who might one day develop into solid role players. Trade up, not down. And most of all, don't outsmart the league, and yourselves, by going after that next Kevin Kolb.
Reid has explained away a couple of disappointing seasons as rebuilding years. That will not be possible in 2012. Sooner or later, the building has to stand, or fall.
Contact Phil Sheridan at 215-854-2844, email@example.com, or @Sheridanscribe on Twitter. Read his blog, "Philabuster," at www.philly.com/philabuster. Read his columns at www.philly.com/philsheridan