The Eagles have already announced that they will entertain trade offers for Kevin Kolb, and indications now are pointing towards a lot of potential suitors for the young quarterback out of Houston. This is a perfect time to deal Kolb because so many teams have needs at quarterback, and there are so few rookies that can step in and be a franchise player. Fourteen NFL teams have some sort of dilemma at the quarterback position, but there are nowhere near as many potential men for the job, whether they be prospects coming out of college or veterans who stand a good chance to be traded. Tennessee, Minnesota, Washington, Arizona, and San Francisco are the four teams that will definitely look to add a starting caliber passer this offseason, but add Miami and Seattle as teams who will also be keeping their eyes peeled for an upgrade at quarterback. Of those six to eight teams, only two or three will come away with who they feel is a future star in the draft. Somebody will take Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert in the top ten, and another team will roll the dice on Auburn’s Cam Newton somewhere in the first round. Washington’s Jake Locker and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett are being downgraded from potential superstars to developmental players with good upside. Neither is likely to be drafted in the first round, and neither will deter the team that drafts them to bring in a veteran quarterback. So, that leaves four or five NFL franchises without any real answers at the most important position in sports heading into the 2011 season.
At this point, Minnesota, San Francisco, and Arizona appear to be the most likely candidates to be extremely desperate for a passer. Seattle would also throw their hat in the ring if it means coming away with a long-term answer at quarterback. These teams could trade for Vince Young, Kyle Orton, or Donovan McNabb. McNabb is only a stopgap solution and would only make sense if a team believes that they already have a future franchise quarterback who just needs time to develop such as Joe Webb or John Skelton. Vince Young is a hot mess and no team in their right mind would bring him in to be an uncontested starter. Really, this leaves Kyle Orton and Kevin Kolb as the only two appealing options besides rookies-to-be Blaine Gabbert and potentially Cam Newton. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s a seller’s market. The Eagles figure to be able to land quite a bounty in exchange for parting with Kolb.
Recently, Larry Fitzgerald (the new de facto general manager of the highly unstable Arizona Cardinals) reportedly told the team that Kevin Kolb is his preferred quarterback for the 2011 season. Now, Fitzgerald has much more leverage with Arizona than most any player in the league does with his respective team. He’s pretty much that Arizona team right now, and if he doesn’t like the direction the Cardinals are heading, he’s going to walk out of Phoenix as soon as his contract voids this time next year. Arizona can’t afford to do nothing about their quarterback situation, so they can either spend their fifth overall pick on Blaine Gabbert, trade for Kolb, or let their best player walk away. In essence, Arizona would be trading for Kevin Kolb AND Larry Fitzgerald by getting the deal done, so expect them to be willing to part with as much as necessary. If that means trading away the fifth overall pick, so be it.
Another big motivator for Arizona, Seattle, and San Francisco to ante up is that they are all each other’s fierce rivals. If Kolb goes to a team and helps them achieve NFC West supremacy, the two teams who still won’t have a quarterback will have an awful lot of explaining to do to their fan bases. At this point, the packages required to net Kolb would be centered around the 25th pick in Seattle’s case, the 38th pick in Arizona’s case, and the 45th pick in San Francisco’s case. Obviously, this puts Arizona and San Francisco at a disadvantage. To make up for this, the 49ers or Cardinals could throw in a third rounder or 2012 second rounder, but they may decide to dangle their top ten picks, which would essentially eliminate the Seahawks from the Kolb sweepstakes. I really have no idea how far this inter-divisional competition can go, but the point is once the ball starts rolling, it will only benefit the Eagles. Here are, in my opinion, the most likely scenarios:
Cardinals receive: Kevin Kolb
Eagles receive: 38th overall pick, 2012 2nd round pick
49ers receive: Kevin Kolb, 23rd overall pick
Eagles receive: 7th overall pick, 76th overall pick, 2012 3rd round pick
Seahawks receive: Kevin Kolb, 4th round pick
Eagles receive: 25th overall pick, 2012 2nd round pick
Well, the Super Bowl kicks off in about two hours, so I guess I have to give a prediction. I like the Packers in this one. The difference to me is in the depth at defensive back. The Packers have two lockdown guys on the outside, a solid nickel corner, Nick Collins, and linebackers who can cover. The Steelers have Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, and Ryan Clark, but those three alone won’t be able to contain all the weapons that Green Bay has. The Packers will jump out to a comfortable halftime lead, and Ben Roethlisberger’s late comeback will fall well short of the mark. I also think that a few missed field goals will create some interesting momentum shifts in the game. Green Bay 27, Pittsburgh 17. Donald Driver will have the game of his life, then announce his retirement at age 36 after being awarded the MVP trophy.