It has been almost eight years since the then-Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid sent franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round draft pick.
The Eagles also got a conditional third-or-fourth round pick from the Redskins, who gave McNabb a $78 million, five-year contract extension. Reid used the second-round pick on Nate Allen, the safety out of South Florida. The Eagles sent the fourth-round conditional pick to the Buccaneers for a lower fourth-rounder and another fourth-rounder in 2012 which eventually resulted, via another trade with the Texans, in the third-round pick of Nick Foles.
His path here may have been convoluted but Foles is preparing to lead the Eagles into Super Bowl 52 in his second spell with the franchise. McNabb lost his job as a starter in his first season with the Redskins under Mike Shanahan and was traded to the Vikings in July 2011.
Reid, always an astute judge of a quarterback, knew that McNabb was on the downslope of his career. But the Redskins apparently weren’t privy to the same knowledge and haven’t learnt much more eight years on, because it looks as if Reid has pulled off a very similar heist. The Kansas City Chiefs head coach sent Alex Smith to the Redskins on Tuesday for a third-round draft pick and highly-regarded cornerback Kendall Fuller. Washington will also give Smith a contract extension worth $94 million over four years, according to NFL.com. Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, will hit free agency as the most-coveted quarterback in professional football.
It’s a more startling trade than the one the Redskins made to grab McNabb because head coach Jay Gruden is losing a valuable member of his defense, and because Smith is reportedly getting $71 million in guaranteed money. The Redskins only ever ended up paying McNabb $3.5 million, ESPN reported when that trade was made.
As for Reid and the Chiefs? They save money and gain what could be valuable future draft picks by jettisoning a quarterback who had probably reached the end of his shelf life in Kansas City. Reid will transition to the exciting, if unpredictable, Patrick Mahomes next year. The Redskins will hope to eke a few more Pro Bowl seasons out of Smith. The rest of the world will sit back and wonder how Reid has apparently managed to fleece his old NFC East foe once again.