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Eagles to McNabb: Go win a Super Bowl

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It is all about the next two years.

Should the Eagles do what they have never done before and win a Super Bowl in that span and the $5.3 to $6.3 million raise they handed Donovan McNabb last Friday will be the best investment Jeffrey Lurie made since he bought the team from Norman Braman for a $190 million pittance in 1994.

Go backwards from last year’s appearance in the NFC Championship Game, and they may as well have thrown the money away, or given it to Sheldon Brown.

McNabb, entering his 11th season, gets two more chances to become the first Eagles quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Win it this year, win it next year or you’re never going to win it.

Basically that’s what the raise, sans an extension, told him and everyone else associated with the team, including Andy Reid, whose contract coincidentally also runs out after the 2010 season.

 “I looked at it as the situation that these two years are very important,’’ McNabb said at a press conference that he didn’t want to do and acted just that way. “With the type of thing we have, I think it’s important that we focused in on what we have to do in order to achieve that common goal, and that’s obviously win a Super Bowl.’’

This whole Eagles offseason has been designed to make McNabb happy. The feeling being a happy McNabb will be a successful McNabb, and a successful McNabb can carry the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

Still bitter and feeling betrayed from his mid-season benching against Baltimore – even though it turned out to be best for him and the team – the Eagles had two choices with their franchise quarterback this offseason.

Move on, via trade or release, and turn the team over to the future-in-waiting Kevin Kolb, or do all they could to appease McNabb and give him one, or actually two, more chances.

They chose the latter.

Which may, or may not, scream volumes about their feelings toward Kolb, who will also see his current contract expire after the 2010 season. Just don’t buy into the rumor the team is trying to trade him, the way they once did A.J. Feeley, or the way Green Bay did Matt Hasselbeck or New England did Matt Cassel.

Feeley (5th round), Hasselbeck (6th) and Cassel (7th) were low round draft picks, who were turned into much higher picks because of the way they played when given the chance. Kolb was a second-round pick, who through no fault of his own has not gotten the opportunity to show much of anything. There is no way the Eagles would get anything close to equal value for him at this point.  

Anyway, back to McNabb and the next two years.

For the first time since 1986 the team spent its first two draft picks on offensive skill players – wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy – to give McNabb more firepower in an offense he said needed more weapons.

They traded a first round pick to Buffalo for left tackle Jason Peters and made their biggest free agent acquisition right guard/tackle Stacy Andrews to make sure McNabb has the time to find those added pieces to the offense.

Even the quiet, but very important, signing of free agent fullback Leonard Weaver was geared to make those 3rd-and-1 plays that failed a season ago a little easier to handle this fall.

“This year was kind of a wait and see,’’ McNabb said. “And you can see exactly what we were doing. We all were excited about the guys we drafted as well as the free agents. Coming out of the first minicamp, you get a good sign of the guys and what they can do, and I think that in this past OTA things began to come out more. You see the rookies starting to develop a little more, get comfortable in the offense, so your confidence level starts to rise. I think we’re excited about what we have and that’s how we’re going to approach it.’’

The Eagles took a bold, unprecedented approach. In very un-Eagle like fashion they handed their quarterback a huge raise with no strings attached, well maybe one string.

Go out and win a Super Bowl.