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Addition and subtraction by division

I can't say I'm surprised that the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb. It's seemed as if his tenure with the team has been bubblicious at best for a while. I remember in December of 2008 I wrote a story about how an upcoming game might be McNabb's last as an Eagle against the Giants (that was towards the end of the season where he was benched but came back to lead a deep playoff push).

And I can't say I'm surprised at what the Eagles got for McNabb. Once they started talking publicly about listening to offers, it was pretty clear that they weren't going to be overwhelmed by draft picks or even get the better of a rare player-for-player NFL trade. They got the fifth pick in the second round of the draft. That's pretty good.

What I am stunned at is that the Eagles traded him to the Redskins. A division rival. A team that, even with Mike Shanahan installed as head coach, seemed to be slumped over in a perpetual stoop. Now they've injected life into a divisional opponent. If you are the Redskins today, the sun is shining brighter, the grass is greener. There is a whiff of optimism.

Which brings this question to the front: Were the Eagles more concerned with McNabb's good fortune than their own? Word is they traded him to the Redskins as a sign of respect for 11 very good (but championship-less) seasons in Philly. Now the Eagles are a franchise with a heart? Well, it's a heart that McNabb undoubtedly will want to rip out and stomp on twice a year for the next 3-4 seasons.

The Giants haven't had many blockbuster trades since getting Eli Manning from the Chargers. The biggest in recent years was the Jeremy Shockey deal which sent him to the Saints. They've signed players from divisional rivals -- Antonio Pierce and Chris Canty come immediately to mind -- but all of their player trades since the end of the 2006 season have been with teams outside the division if not the conference (Tim Carter went to the Browns, Ryan Grant to the Packers, Shockey to the Saints and Michael Matthews to the Patriots).

Imagine if Shockey had been dealt to the Cowboys? As a Giants fan you'd probably feel a little betrayed by the organization. Well, that's what Philly fans are feeling a lot of today.

New York Sports