When the Eagles acquired Terrell Owens in 2004, it was a the perfect move at the perfect time. Owens had outstayed his visit in San Francisco and wanted the chance to win a championship; the Eagles had been defeated by the Carolina Panthers the year before in the NFC Championship in a large part due to their inadequate (Editor’s note: Oh, that’s being nice) receiving corps. It was the perfect marriage, at least for the time being.
Fast-forward to, um, right now (Editor’s note: Observe the use of the cheesy and overused phrase employed by many journalists and media folks to transition between two similar events in different time periods – fascinating). The Eagles have just lost their top receiver, Kevin Curtis, for likely a minimum of six weeks due to a sports hernia. Meanwhile, Reggie Brown is nursing a sore hamstring, though he is expected to be ready for the opener. Still, the idea of going into the first quarter of the season with Reggie Brown, Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis, DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant as our receivers is frightening, to say the least (Editor’s note: I might bump it up to horrifying).
Going back in time for a moment (Editor’s note: Hop in the Delorean, kids), Donovan McNabb wasted little time after last season calling for more weapons. Oh, and though it seems unrelated at the moment, Lito Shepherd spent much of his offseason mired in contract disputes / trade rumors (Editor’s note: The pieces will fall into place, my minions). And now, with Curtis getting injured, and a premium wide receiver disgruntled with his current situation, a perfect storm is brewing.
That’s right, I’m talking about a trade for Anquan Boldin. (Editor’s note: Gasp! Wow, that just totally surprised me!). Lito for Anquan, straight up. Or however else you want to do it. Just do it, Eagles. Damnit, just do it! (Editor’s note: Lucy, could you get The Pundit his stress ball, the Xanax and some string cheese? Yeah, he’s having another panic attack).
It’s not as though this is an entirely new thought. Sal Paolantonio, in an interview on Monday night with Dan Levy, before the Curtis injury was released, already thought the Birds were in talks with the Cardinals, and, in the least, were “exploring” their options.
Now, the Eagles did bring in DeSean Jackson through the draft, who has looked promising during the preseason. But, in an effort to lessen fan expectations after his quick preseason start (Editor’s note: And, had any Boldin whispers reached camp, to perhaps endorse that option), McNabb reminded everyone of how difficult it can be to succeed as a rookie receiver. Translation: DeSean isn’t the answer this year. He’ll help, but he probably isn’t going to set the world on fire.
So, let’s recap quickly: Curtis is done for a spell, Reggie Brown is nursing a hammy, the top move to improve the receiving corps is likely a developmental project, the quarterback already asked for more playmakers, the fans want playmakers, a playmaker is asking out of Arizona, and the Eagles have a Pro-Bowler who was already being shopped around plus two first round picks next year.
Um, that looks like a perfect frickin’ storm to me.
Now, there are reasons out there for why this might not happen (Editor’s note: He meant to say “won’t happen”). For one, the Eagles may not want to deal with an agent who shall remain nameless. As well, they may not want to meet Boldin’s demands for a new contract. The Cardinals may look at their depth chart behind Boldin, realize they don’t really have a depth chart behind Boldin, and decide they’d rather pony up. Or, they may have little desire to make a move for Lito Shepherd, who would certainly want a new contract. If that were the case, but they were still willing to make the move, but only for draft picks, the Eagles may balk at giving up a first round pick, which the Cardinals would probably ask for.
It’s a longshot, but man would it be sweet. Consider this: Donovan McNabb’s best year was his fling with TO in 2004. He finished with career highs in completion percentage (64.0%), yards (3875), touchdowns (31) and quarterback rating (104.7). TO stretched the field, demanded double teams that freed up other players, and made big plays after the catch. He finished that year, in 14 games, with 77 catches for 1200 yards and 14 touchdowns. Anquan Boldin would likely add a similar spark. Boldin has impressive career marks, and when calculating his career average over a 16 game span, you get 97 receptions, 1284 yards and 7 touchdowns (Editor’s note: The Pundit just giggled…I’m not even kidding). He’s a beast after the catch and seems to be a pretty stand-up guy.
Make it happen, Birds – these perfect storms don’t blow into town very often.