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Why the McNabb deal doesn't make sense

The ESPN rumor that the Ravens could wind up with Donovan McNabb as their quarterback in 2008 just doesn't add up. Here's why -- it's just so out of character for the key people involved and doesn't fit with the circumstances in which the two teams find themselves, especially Philadelphia.

Jamison Hensley made the point in today's Sun that the Ravens are not in the habit in giving up high draft picks in trades. In fact, Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome has never given up anything higher than a third-round choice for a player (Steve McNair cost a fourth-round pick in the deal with Tennessee). And to get McNabb, the Ravens would have to give up their No. 8 pick overall and who knows what else.

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Now it is true that the Ravens have been in the habit of renting veteran quarterbacks short-term rather than developing their own (the efforts with Kyle Boller being the notable exception). But think about the implications of a trade for McNabb. Newsome is as influential as any GM in the league within his own organization and the Ravens' well-regarded scouting department is his baby. Trading for McNabb torpedoes a lot of their work. This is a team that is in love with the draft, which is why the Ravens have never been big players in free agency. The whole thing goes against the grain for Baltimore.

OK, now look at this from the Philadelphia side. It has been mentioned that Baltimore's new coach, John Harbaugh, comes from the Eagles' organization, as if that has some weight. But Harbaugh was never involved with the Philadelphia offense. More to the point is who coaches Philadelphia. To say that Eagles coach Andy Reid and McNabb have been close is an understatement. Over the last month of the 2007 season, McNabb began to approach his old self after coming back from a knee injury in 2006. Meanwhile, the QB the Eagles drafted high last season, Kevin Kolb, didn't play even when McNabb missed two games.

In the last four games of the season, McNabb completed 65 percent of his passes for 995 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Almost as significant, he ran for more than 100 yards. Sure, that should make him attractive to the Ravens, but it also raised the price on him astronomically.

One more thing. Philadelphia -- much like the Ravens -- is a veteran team that thinks with a little tinkering and some luck, it can be back in the playoff hunt after an 8-8 year. If the Eagles trade McNabb and go with Kolb, who may not be playoff-caliber for two years if ever, what does that do to the Eagles' own window of opportunity with guys like Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins?  Do you think Philadelphia is willing to sacrifice the next two seasons and also give up on a Pro Bowl quarterback who could have four or five years left?

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