Tag:2011 NFL Scouting Combine
Posted on: February 27, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: February 27, 2011 10:36 am

McNabb makes sense for Vikings

Wahington coach Mike Shanahan all but conceded the other day that quarterback Donovan McNabb's days are numbered with the Redskins, and while that's no surprise I would be interested in where he's going next. So I asked, and the consensus at this week's NFL scouting combine seems to be Minnesota.

First of all, the Vikings have a need. There's no quarterback of consequence there, with Joe Webb a project who needs to learn behind a veteran. Second, the club has a raft of talent, with many of the players in place from the team that went to the 2009 NFC championship game. All that's missing is an established quarterback. Third, coach Leslie Frazier has a history with McNabb, coaching in Philadelphia when McNabb starred with the Eagles. When I talked to Frazier two summers ago about McNabb, then with Philadelphia, he had nothing but glowing things to say about the guy.

"Plus," said one NFC offensive coordinator, "he knows how to handle him. McNabb can still play, given the right situation. It would be an ideal fit."

In all likelihood, McNabb would command a draft choice or two in return. Philadelphia peddled him a year ago for second-and-fifth round draft picks, and the market then was not strong. After a season where he was benched, anticipate that he would command less -- maybe much less -- in return. Not only will McNabb turn 35 this season; he is coming off a disappointing season and is with a team that doesn't want him.

That's not to say he goes to Minnesota, but it is the move that makes the most sense. There are several clubs looking for quarterbacks, and McNabb would seem to fit for either Arizona or Minnesota. But the Cardinals have been clear that they're not interested. The Vikings haven't made anything clear, other than they're always looking for someone who can help them.

Donovan McNabb could, particularly if he's paired with a coach who is patient with him. Frazier would seem to be that guy, and the Vikings would seem to be frontrunners as his next destination. 
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 27, 2011 9:44 am
Edited on: February 27, 2011 9:53 am

Kolb's stock so hot Eagles may be forced to deal

After interviewing GMs and coaches at this week's NFL scouting combine, I'd be surprised if the Philadelphia Eagles don't wind up trading quarterback Kevin Kolb. There just seems to be too much interest in the guy -- and too many teams willing to bid on him -- for the Eagles not to consider a move.

The Eagles haven't said that Kolb is for sale, but they haven't said he isn't, either.  Coach Andy Reid is a staunch supporter of Kolb and wants to keep him -- as he should. Kolb is young, he is proven and he is under contract for another season. Plus, he backs up Michael Vick, whose wide-open style of play makes him a virtual certainty to be hurt next season ... or any season.

But the Eagles may be offered a deal they can't refuse. They're in a position not unlike the one they had last year with Donovan McNabb ... except that Kolb has a future. McNabb had a year left on his contract, too, and the Eagles had to decide to keep him one season or get what they could for him when they could.

The situation is similar, except Philadelphia isn't shopping Kolb. According to people at this week's combine, clubs are calling the Eagles and are eager to make a deal. And you can see why. This year's draft class isn't strong at quarterback, with no clear No. 1. Plus, it falls off sharply after Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton, and there's no certainty that either of those guys can make it. So that makes Kolb that much more attractive. He has started, he has won and he's 26.

The question, of course, is what it will take to get him. The Eagles years ago shipped backup A.J. Feeley to Miami for a second-round draft pick, but Kolb isn't A.J. Feeley. He's much better and more desirable. They traded McNabb last spring for second and fifth-round draft choices, but Kolb's best years are ahead of him where McNabb's were not.

So now the question: What will Kolb command?

"I guarantee you it will be high," said one coach. "The Eagles always shoot high."

That means a first-rounder and something else, probably another high draft pick, and while that exceeds what Houston quarterback Matt Schaub commanded when the Falcons traded him -- for a flip of first-rounders and two No. 2s -- apparently it hasn't dismayed suitors. Several clubs said they heard there's a bidding war on for Kolb, with clubs desperate to fill the most important position. You can figure that Arizona, San Francisco and Minnesota probably are involved, with all desperate to fill quarterback openings, but they're not saying, and either are the Eagles.

All I know is how Philadelphia operates, which is to set the bar high and deal only if they get what they want. A year ago the club went to the NFL scouting combine with Michael Vick available for the right price, which was a second-round pick. But it didn't budge because there was little or no interest. Vick hadn't played in two years and barely played in a third, with teams concerned he might never be the quarterback he was with Atlanta. So they backed off, and the Eagles kept him.

But league sources seem to believe Philadelphia can and will get what it demands for Kolb, partly because he is proven, partly because he has a future and mostly because he's better than what's available in the draft.

Of course, if and when there's a lockout next week, there can be no trades. Deals would be put on hold until a settlement is reached, and there's no indication a settlement is near. That could complicate or sabotage a trade if a work stoppage goes beyond the April 28-30 draft, with teams no longer able to offer picks in return.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 25, 2011 5:08 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 5:11 pm

McNabb, Portis look like goners

It doesn't sound as if Donovan McNabb and Clinton Portis will be with the Washington Redskins this season. That's not exactly a revelation, but it is news when it's the head coach dropping hints.

That would be Mike Shanahan, who said Friday that after talking to McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, the Redskins "would make a decision after the draft which direction we want to go." Later, he acknowledged that he could make a move before the draft, but it's not what he said that matters; it's what he didn't say, and what he didn't say is that McNabb would be with the Redskins in 2011.

And is anyone surprised? After what happened last season it's unfathomable to think that Shanahan or his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, would want McNabb back or that McNabb would want to return. While Shanahan acknowledged that he spoke for nearly an hour-and-a-half to Smith, declining to discuss the specifics of their conversation, he also said he has not spoken directly to McNabb.

That tells me something, too. Something like ... adios.
Portis, who turns 30 this year and missed 19 games the past two years, in all likelihood will be released by Washington.That's been in the wind for a while, and Shanahan all but confirmed those suspicions when he said Washington could not afford to carry Portis at his cap figure this season and that something could happen "two days from now ... three days from now." In short, he all but said the Redskins would move on and "let him test the market out."

Translation: Adios.

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth almost surely is a goner, too, but people who know Shanahan tell me he won't cut him; that he would prefer to get something, anything, in a trade for the guy. Owner Daniel Snyder at this year's Super Bowl wouldn't rule out Haynesworth's return, but he's not coaching the team. Shanahan is, and all he said is that Haynesworth must take care of a couple of off-the-field incidents before the Redskins make a move there.  

Category: NFL
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