Man, step away for a few hours to clean your garage and all hell breaks loose. The rumor mill fired up today with word out of Philly that the Eagles were set to swap 33-year-old Donovan McNabb for the St. Louis Rams' first pick of the second round (33rd). Later, OJ Atogwe got thrown into the mix...just for good measure I guess.
The rumor has since been resoundingly and unambiguously denied by Rams GM Billy Devaney. I believe the words he used were "utterly ridiculous." Correct. There have been plenty of Rams-Eagles rumors this year, starting with Michael Vick as soon as the season ended. Those too were flatly denied, which still didn't stop the media from resurrecting them...until talk that the Rams would take Sam Bradford with their first overall pick picked up steam. I think McNabb is a great player, but this move would have been, well, utterly ridiculous. Here's why:
- Whether you support the idea of the Rams taking Bradford first overall or finding a QB somewhere else in the draft, what the Rams need is a QB to make the cornerstone of their franchise. This is a rebuilding effort, and McNabb would be joining a team unlikely to contend for a division title until the 2011 season...during which McNabb will turn 35. McNabb, you'll also remember, is no stranger to missing time with injuries. Rebuilding franchises don't build around quarterbacks over 30.
- That 33rd picks is better than cash money right now. Billy Devaney has tons of leverage to trade it, and will have lots more once April 22 and 23 arrive. Not to mention that the Rams could get a really good player with that pick.
- Speaking of leverage, using the 33rd in a trade now, for an aging QB, would take away any leverage they have to trade the first pick in the draft since trading for McNabb would eliminate one very real possibility for that pick, the only real possibility besides Suh or McCoy. And even though they may not want to trade that pick, they will certainly listen to offers.
- The notion of the 33rd pick was ridiculous enough, but when word leaked that Atogwe might be in the mix too...well, I got a bridge I'll sell ya.
Note that this rumor was started by a "professional journalist."