Keeping Both McNabb And Kolb Would Be Irresponsible

Keeping Both McNabb And Kolb Would Be Irresponsible

There's so much quarterback talk out there. Everybody has an opinion on what the Eagles will do, and what they should do. At this point though, nobody has a clue... but I can tell you what absolutely should not happen under any circumstances.

They should not keep all three quarterbacks. In fact, forget Vick. They should not keep both Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb, and I do not believe for one second they will.

How is it I am so certain? Just take a closer look at the logistics involved with holding on to both, and you see there is a serious possibility one of them will be able to walk away one year from now, while the Birds get nothing in return. Either way, that's a terrible investment.

The Eagles need to extend either McNabb or Kolb sometime between now and no later than mid-season. If the plan is to stick with 5 until the bitter end, there is no problem, beside the fact there are no reported discussions as of now. Regardless, once he signs, there is zero chance of Kolb returning next season. They may not even have the ability to squat on his rights if the unpopular franchise tag were eliminated under a new colelctive bargaining agreement, so it doesn't make any sense to hang on to him.

Maybe not the popular decision, but simple enough. It's working out a deal with Kolb that is potentially a problem. Put yourself in his shoes. The man wants to start. Why would he sign a contract extension with the Eagles as long as Donovan McNabb is on the roster? Because they "promise" him he's the man next season? That's a hypothetical situation of course, but even if that were the case, he doesn't have any reason to believe it's definite. Commit the prime of his career to a team clinging to its franchise quarterback? Not likely.

Finally, what happens to McNabb at the end of this season if the team intends to re-sign Kolb? He walks away, and the Eagles get nothing? Ideally the team would slap the franchise tag on Donovan and attempt to trade him then, but there are several issues with that, and at the top of the list is once again the possibility that the tag will no longer exist in 2011. Although no change is imminent, at the very least they shouldn't count on having that option.

For the sake of argument though, let's say they can and choose to do that. What happens if there are problems negotiating a contract with Kolb? It's reasonable to believe the two sides could be far apart, with the front office making the case he only has a couple starts under his belt, and Kolb's agent arguing they are dealing with their franchise QB, and it's a contract that will carry him through the prime of his career. All are correct.

Now the front office needs to choose which quarterback they tag. Do they hit Kolb, and allow McNabb to leave? It's downright foolish to get nothing in return. Or do they use it to stall McNabb, and risk Kolb reaching free agency and signing with a club willing to break the bank? All that grandstanding might be the diversion that causes Kolb to slip away, leaving them with a Donovan McNabb who is none too pleased with the franchise tag and their attempts to trade him. Let's just say I doubt he'll be willing to do them any favors.

It's a dangerous game, which is why the Eagles are playing it so close to the vest. Ultimately though, you see the one thing they cannot afford to do is wind up with the same trio of quarterbacks heading into next season. That scenario could cost them the opportunity to pick up some much needed draft picks to improve their club for whoever is under center the next bunch of years.

Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation for indecent assault

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Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation for indecent assault

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A former Penn State football player will serve five years' probation and register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to indecent assault.

Twenty-two-year-old Brent Wilkerson was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in connection with a February outing to several bars with a young woman and others.

Police say Wilkerson was drunk but the woman was sober when he insisted on making sure she got home safe.

The woman tells police Wilkerson pushed her upstairs to her bedroom where he fell asleep. The woman says she went to bed later and woke up to find Wilkerson kissing and fondling her and fondling himself. He later apologized in a text message.

Wilkerson was kicked off the team in March. Court records say he lives in Clinton, Maryland.

Union-Toronto FC 5 things: Embracing the playoff underdog role

Union-Toronto FC 5 things: Embracing the playoff underdog role

Union vs. Toronto FC
7:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Riding a seven-game winless run entering their first playoff match since 2011, the No. 6 Union (11-14-9) will attempt to hit the reset button and unseat the third-ranked and heavily favored Toronto FC (14-9-11) on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) at BMO Field.

Here are five things to know:

1. Playing underdog
The struggling Union are happily accepting the role as underdogs against MLS Cup-hungry Toronto FC.

"It's a difficult task but it’s not impossible,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. "Not many people are giving us a chance. We've been a good team when we're considered the underdog and my guys have responded well in that situation. This is no different."

To fully embrace that underdog role, and in an attempt to wash away the stink of how they ended the regular season, the Union are treating Wednesday as a hard reset. For them, the playoffs will be a fresh chance to prove themselves.

“It’s a new season now,” said Union center back Ken Tribbett, who helped his club draw Toronto FC at BMO Field on Sept. 24. “In the playoffs, anything can happen. We go up to Toronto and it’ll be a good test. We have to stay sharp for 90 minutes and hopefully we can come back here with a win.”

And there is a reason to be slightly optimistic about the Union’s chance. Despite a 1-0-1 record against the Canadian side this season, the Union, who lost 3-1 in the first match, played much better on Sept. 24 at BMO Field. They clogged the midfield and ground the Sebastian Giovinco-less club into a 1-1 draw.

“It’s encouraging that we have gone there recently and played well,” Curtin said. “I think we have a group that has a belief, and one that is pissed a bit about how things have ended. They are motivated.”

2. Leaning on experience
While the 2016 Union will ultimately be known for their reliance on youth — a group that included Keegan Rosenberry, who has played every minute this season, Fabian Herbers, Josh Yaro and Ken Tribbett — it’s the veterans that will lead them on Wednesday.

“This is a pressure game for everybody,” Curtin said. “We have a good balance of guys who have played in big spots, like (Chris) Pontius, Tranquillo (Barnetta), (Alejandro) Bedoya. (C.J.) Sapong has played in big games, you can go through the list.”

Yet despite Curtin’s need for his veterans to lead, his reliance on youth means the younger players need to be reliable. The manager admitted that pressure can change how people play, and he is making sure the Union youth movement remains steady on Wednesday.

“We have young guys, there’s no question about it,” Curtin said. “These guys will play in their first playoff game and a lot of the guys on our roster have never been in a playoff game. You hope they rise to the occasion and I’m confident they will.”

3. Pressure on Toronto
Making their second-ever postseason appearance, high-priced Toronto FC has its sights set on bigger things than the Union in the play-in playoff round. That’s why Curtin believes the pressure is squarely on his opposition.

“I’d say the pressure is on them, they are the home team,” the manager said. “My guys should be loose, they have nothing to lose. It’s fair to say, they are the home team and they want to make a deep playoff run. We want to make some noise.”

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney knows his team will be excited, so he’s trying to instill a high intensity but controlled start for his club.

“We expect a little of the unexpected at the start,” he said. “The game settles down eventually, but at the start, there’s a lot of emotion into it and you want to play with the right kind of caution but the right kind of intensity to put the opposing team on their back foot.

“The guys are ready to go, ready to go after Philadelphia.”

4. Keep an eye on
Jozy Altidore: It would be easy to go with Giovinco here, but Altidore has a recent history of crushing the Union. He has two goals in his last three games against the Union and buried 10 in 23 games this season.

“Jozy is a guy who can stretch the field and is dangerous,” Curtin said. “He’s not a guy you can shut down, it’s not possible. He’ll have his moments, you just have to make those looks as predictable for (goalkeeper Andre Blake) as you can. You hope he’s a little off on the night.”

Tranquillo Barnetta: Without added inspiration, the Union offensive catalyst has been one of the club’s best players all season. On Wednesday, Curtin expects a little extra from Barnetta, who is not returning to the Union in 2017.

“I’ve talked a ton about how special he is, he’s been a great attribute for the Union and a guy we want to prolong the season for,” Curtin said. “He’s played in the big spots, the big games and there’s something extra there for him.” 

5. This and that
• On the injury front, Union center back Yaro sprained his MCL while returning from a concussion. “It’s a two-week injury,” Curtin said, “so it will be unfortunate he won’t be part of the Toronto game.”

Warren Creavalle is also fighting injury. The defensive midfielder left Sunday’s match with a rib injury but could be available for Wednesday. “It’s painful for him,” Curtin said. “He’s a tough kid and he wants to be a part of this game.”

• The Union and Toronto FC are deadlocked all time, with a 6-6-5 record against each other. 

• The Union are 2-4-3 at BMO Field.

• Both clubs enter Wednesday limping. Since August 27 (the Union’s last win), Toronto FC is 2-1-4, while the Union are 0-5-2.