Congratulations, Kevin Kolb. The city of Philadelphia's fate now rests on your shoulders. Your right shoulder and the arm that hangs from it, to be exact.
If you can't deliver on the promise your physical talents have made in the upcoming National Football League season (especially against the division-rival Washington Redskins), there's a good chance portions of the City of Brotherly Love will burn.
Even in the dead of winter.
If you don't question the general idea of moving franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb, flipping him for a mere pittance—the 37th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft (a second-round selection) and either a third- or fourth-round pick next year—has to tug at your frayed ends of sanity.
Parting with the stud is one thing, but to do it for apparently pennies on the dollar seems like an unnecessary slap in the face.
At a minimum, it looks like a pretty severe overreaction to an unrelenting and unreasonable local pressure.
Good grief, I get that McNabb is no spring chicken, but surely one of the NFL's best for so long has several more good years left. So what's the rush?
Furthermore, it's not like the 2004 National Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year enjoyed a ferocious arsenal of options throughout his career.
Given some real tools in recent seasons, the ex-Eagle put together some of his better statistical seasons. Even so, he hasn't had the benefit of a top-flight or even reliable running game as Brian Westbrook has been a continual injury casualty and other bodies have been constantly shuffled through the backfield.
The kicker, though, is the destination. Shipping your franchise QB off to an NFC East rival?
Well, that's just absurd.
I might not know a whole lot about football's technical side, but I don't think you need a doctorate in X's and O's to know this move has to hurt McNabb. At the very least, No. 5's ego has to be stinging something awful right about now.
Which means there's a good chance the former Syracuse Orange signal-caller will spend the rest of the offseason with a sizable burr under his saddle. Given his well-known and well-earned sense of pride, my guess is McNabb pushes himself to near death over the next four months and attacks his 2009-10 failings like a man possessed.
Not everyone can be Brett Favre; obviously, very few can spar with Father Time so successfully.
Of course, if I were gonna roll the dice on anyone taking snaps in this NFL, there's a decent chance I settle on Mr. McNabb. Full disclosure—the truly unbiased money would probably lie with the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning.
Regardless, the six-time Pro Bowler now under center for Washington (assuming the 'Skins brought him in to supplant Jason Campbell for a year or two) is as tough as they come. Considering this latest motivational contribution from his long-time employer, the fact that Donovan will turn 34 in the middle of the 2010-11 season shouldn't raise any concerns about a sudden and precipitous decline.
Granted, McNabb isn't stepping onto a smoothly moving train, quite the opposite.
The Redskins have been, more or less, a running joke in the NFL due to owner Daniel Snyder's perpetual micro- and over-management of the franchise. His spendthrift ways have landed big dollars in the laps of big busts (and at least one big butt).
The 2010 offseason has been a case in point.
Snyder has tossed his marker back on the high-stakes craps table by bringing in Larry Johnson, Phillip Buchanon, and Willie Parker. Admittedly, the base deals are minuscule compared to recent Snyder expenditures, but they still fit the same mold—sincerely flawed packages with names you can still put in the headline.
Historically, such moves in D.C. have resulted in more train wreck than smooth railing.
So Donovan McNabb will have a considerable challenge ahead of him.
Nevertheless, righteous motivation and karma can work funny magic on even a modicum of talent. They'll have to work a lot of that magic to dig the Washington Redskins out of their Daniel Snyder-authored hole.
But, for two weeks, expect the 'Skins quarterback to be completely under their spell.
And expect him to be a holy terror.