There are plenty of Redskins fans who will blindly accept the trade for Donovan McNabb as a great one. After all, they’ve heard of McNabb, know he’s a good quarterback and that Jason Campbell sucks. They’ll tell you things like “McNabb’s a winner!” and “Campbell had his chance!” These fans are idiots.
But there’s this other group of fans over here, the informed folks who will look beyond the shiny thing the team has acquired and see that the Redskins are essentially doing what they’ve always done under Snyder: Mortgaging the future to win now. There’s no other way to spin it when you consider they just got five years older (and marginally better) at QB and gave up two critical draft picks over the next two years. This team may be able to improve slightly if they draft the right players with the limited picks they have left (file under: wishful thinking), but they’ll essentially need to win with the roster they have in place now.
But wait, I was supposed to be finding the silver lining in this trade, yes? OK, let’s THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS. A few to consider:
McNabb may be marginally better than JC, but he is better. Football Outsiders ranked Donovan as the 16th most efficient QB last season; Campbell was 20th. McNabb was superior to Campbell in really any stat you wanna look at, except completion percentage. But again, he was only slightly better than JC in all areas. Of course, this doesn’t take into account “intangibles,” such as yelling effectively at teammates and “leadership in the huddle.” People have criticized Campbell in these areas, yet praise Donovan. I’ve never been in an NFL huddle or locker room with either gentleman, so I can’t comment. Bottom line though: Right now, McNabb is a better quarterback than Campbell.
If the aforementioned is true, then the Skins have a better chance of winning now. We’ve been talking about building for the future for a decade, but at some point, you have to do what you can to put a team in place that can win now. McNabb under center gives the team a better chance of making the playoffs this season, especially if the team can draft him some o-line help with their precious few picks.
Jason Campbell is a free bird. Anyone who’s read this site for any amount of time knows that the Brothers Mottram love them some JC. Whether you’re with us on that or not, there’s no denying that the man never got a fair shake in DC. Between the constant rotating of coaches, systems, and shitty offensive lines, he didn’t have a chance to be successful. Despite that, he proved that he can be an above-average QB, and probably a top tier one if given the right opportunity. This trade will hopefully allow him to move on to another team and get that shot. We’ll be rooting for him.
Shanahan & Allen have a plan. I heard the news halfway through my four-hour drive from Wilmington to Charlotte Sunday night. I spent the remaining two hours trying to figure out how this all makes sense. The one certainty I can draw from it is this: Shanahan and Allen were convinced, for whatever reason, that Campbell could not be the quarterback of this team. So they had no choice but to trade for someone who could. Right or wrong, at least they made a plan and followed through instead of being hamstrung by a QB in which they held no confidence.
Jimmy Clausen won’t be a Redskin. Hopefully. This deal almost assures us that the Skins won’t draft at QB at No. 4, meaning I won’t require four Xanax and half a bottle of Jack on draft night. Even though I’m still skeptical about this trade, it’s far better than the team taking Jimmy Clausen in the first round. Faaaar better.