Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb proclaimed during a series of ESPN interviews yesterday that he would be ready for the season opener.

"Absolutely, absolutely," McNabb said when asked by ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd whether he would be in the lineup. "I'm looking forward to having a great season and playing with the great acquisitions that we've just had and the ones to come."

McNabb tore his right anterior cruciate ligament Nov. 19 against Tennessee and missed the remainder of the season, including the Eagles' run to the NFC divisional playoff against New Orleans.

McNabb said he has been in communication with the surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, to ensure that his progress is on pace.

"The ACL is getting better, it's getting stronger," he said. "We've been rehabbing extremely well. Things seem to be on course right now."

McNabb also was asked about the Eagles' most pressing needs heading into the April 28-29 draft. He responded by saying, "linebacker depth, defensive front depth, and on the offensive side, we definitely have to go after a quarterback, as well as a wide receiver and a big back."

Asked how comfortable he would be if the team selected a quarterback, McNabb said: "I'm the quarterback of the team, and I will continue to be, but I think it's important that we begin to groom somebody for 15, 20 years down the road . . . If they come out at 23 years old, they can play at about 43," he concluded amid laughter.


* Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage confirmed that he contacted Kansas City GM Carl Peterson about Trent Green, a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback, during this week's NFL meetings in Phoenix.

"I spoke to a number of teams/GMs about players/picks including KC," Savage said in an e-mail. "Bottom line, due diligence on a player who might be able to help us - nothing imminent or on the table."

Savage previously said the team would be willing to go into training camp next summer without a veteran and allow Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson to compete for the starting job.

There's also the possibility the Browns could wind up taking either LSU's JaMarcus Russell or Notre Dame's Brady Quinn. They have the No. 3 pick in the draft.

Green, who last season missed eight games after suffering a severe concussion on a hard hit in the season opener, threw a season-high four touchdown passes in a loss at Cleveland on Dec. 3.

Miami and Detroit are also reportedly interested in Green, who is signed through 2009. He is slated to make $7.2 million next season, and $7.7 million and $9.2 million in the final 2 years of his contract.

Green struggled after returning from his concussion, throwing seven touchdowns and nine interceptions as Kansas City went 2-3 in its final five games. Green's 74.1 passer rating was his lowest since 2001 - his first year with the Chiefs.


* The Washington Redskins, who hold the No. 6 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft, will meet with former Louisiana State quarterback JaMarcus Russell on April 10, according to ESPN.com.

There is virtually no chance Russell, considered to be on of the top players in the draft, will be around when the Redskins pick.

According to ESPN.com, the Redskins have spoken with teams about moving up or down from their No. 6 slot and offered their pick to Chicago for two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs and the 31st overall pick.

* The Packers re-signed defensive tackle Colin Cole to a 1-year deal. *