Around the East: McNabb to Wash.

The fact that the Philadelphia Eagles even thought of trading longtime starter Donovan McNabb — the greatest quarterback in team history and more importantly, still a valuable NFL starter — is one of the more bizarre plots to engulf an NFL team in recent years.

But the fact that they actually pulled the trigger, and added to the mystery by shipping him within the NFC East to the Washington Redskins, makes the trade even harder to figure.

So who wins in this deal? Nobody.

From Philadelphia's standpoint, the move divorces the Eagles from the best quarterback in team history. Anyone who claims to have known that Kevin Kolb —and more surprisingly, Michael Vick — would outlast McNabb in Philadelphia is lying or should move to Las Vegas. Last year, Vick was a little-used gimmick player, while Kolb showed potential in brief playing time. Those are the performances on which the Eagles want to rest their future?

For 11 seasons, the six-time Pro Bowler was the face of the Eagles, even moreso than Brian Westbrook, who was cut earlier this offseason. He has thrown for 32,873 yards and 216 touchdowns in his career, and has led Philadelphia to one Super Bowl and four NFC Championship games, and more postseason wins (seven) than any quarterback in team history.

From Washington's perspective, the deal makes even less sense. A team that finishes 4-12 is in the epicenter of a rebuilding process, and unless Adrian Peterson or DeMarcus Ware is available, teams like that need to collect young talent — very young. Trade for players 25 and younger. Keep draft picks and acquire more.

So far, the Redskins are behaving in this offseason as if they, and not the Dallas Cowboys, are the team hoping to make a Super Bowl run in their home stadium. They have signed a pair of free agent running backs, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, and now traded for McNabb.

Starting quarterback — make that former starting quarterback — Jason Campbell has been saddled with the role of scapegoat for the Redskins' recent struggles, even though that blame is unfair; he has spent the last couple of years running for his life and absorbing an enormous physical pounding, and often was under siege before he could get rid of the ball even on three-step drops.

Nonetheless, McNabb now takes the reins in Washington, and the Redskins — thanks in large part to the wizardry of former personnel executive Vinny Cerrato -— now are down to just four draft picks in this year's NFL Draft. If there are no other trades made to acquire additional picks, the argument could be made that Washington should spend all four on offensive linemen. Certainly the team's top pick — No. 4 overall — should be spent on a premier tackle like Oklahoma State's Russell Okung or Oklahoma's Trent Williams, but the sentiment remains that Washington still should select a quarterback in the first round, including Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen … a favorite of Cerrato's.

In addition to the fact that rebuilding teams shouldn't get older through trades, and that no quarterback is effective without an offensive line, there's one other reason the Redskins made a mistake with this deal: McNabb is entering the final year of his contract. Barring a miraculous turnaround, is there any reason McNabb would want to re-sign with the Redskins?

If he doesn't re-sign, Washington will have given a division rival two picks for a player who amounts to a one-year rental — hardly the foundation upon which to re-build.

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