After more than two months of silence regarding the status of quarterback Donovan McNabb, coach Andy Reid reportedly made a stunning admission on Tuesday at the annual league meetings.
According to Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Reid said that the team is receiving offers for the eleven-year veteran and the other two quarterbacks on the roster, Mike Vick and Kevin Kolb.
But while Fox characterizes Reid as saying the Eagles are “entertaining offers,” the precise quote isn’t quite that strong. Reid’s precise quote was that “[p]eople are entertaining us with offers,” a subtle yet potentially significant difference, since the phrase “entertaining offers” implies a higher level of commitment to accept one of them.
Still, Reid said that the team is “evaluating” the offers. And that could be enough to disrupt the delicate balance that the team previously had struck with McNabb, making him available to be traded but not saying he was available to be traded, possibly in order to avoid an leverage-killing outburst from the player who at times behaves like the proverbial delicate genius.
Speaking of killing leverage, Fox reports that the lack of a market for Vick traces in part to his public comments regarding his desire to be a starter.
As to McNabb, Fox reports that the Eagles supposedly have dropped their firm expectation of a first-round pick, claiming instead that the Eagles want only a “fair” price.
The stance makes sense. With McNabb and Kevin Kolb under contract only for one more year each, waiting too long to do a deal could force the Eagles eventually to let one of them walk away for no compensation in 2011.
Then there’s the question of whether the Eagles would move Kolb, if the offer for the fourth-year player who seems poised to become a solid starter exceeds the offer for McNabb. The sense, however, is that Reid and company are ready to go younger at the position, and that if they trade either guy it will be McNabb.