Commentary

Washington's QB troubles

Redskins may have made wrong decision getting rid of Jason Campbell

Updated: November 14, 2010, 10:09 AM ET
By Doug Farrar | Football Outsiders
Jason Campbell/Donovan McNabbUS PresswireJason Campbell and Donovan McNabb have similar skill sets.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks for those keeping track of current and former Washington Redskins quarterbacks. While the alleged schism between Skins coach Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb has kept the Beltway busy through Washington's recent bye week, things have been getting progressively better for Jason Campbell in Oakland. Raiders owner Al Davis recently sent down the demand from on high that Campbell remain the team's starting quarterback after his solid starts in place of Bruce Gradkowski. Davis got Campbell from the Redskins for a fourth-round pick in 2010.

Before the Redskins shipped off Campbell, their starting quarterback of the past three seasons, they acquired McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles in an early April pre-draft deal. Washington traded its 2010 second-round pick and a 2011 conditional pick (third or fourth round) for the QB who had been the face of the Eagles' franchise since 1999. McNabb was supposed to be the crown jewel of the new Shanahan administration, but as evidenced by the coach's decision to bench McNabb for Rex Grossman late in the team's Week 7 loss to the Detroit Lions, all is not well between the two NFL stalwarts.

The issues with McNabb beg the question: Were the Redskins wise to give up more for McNabb than they took in for Campbell, when the two quarterbacks put up fairly similar numbers in 2009? In his final Philly season, McNabb ranked 16th in Football Outsiders' DYAR (cumulative efficiency) metrics, and 20th in our DVOA (per-play) numbers. Campbell, playing for a Washington team with an inferior offensive line, receiver corps and coaching staff compared to McNabb's, ranked 20th in DYAR and 25th in DVOA.