Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Kevin Kolb may be headed to the Cleveland Browns in 2012, according to Cleveland Browns beat writer Tony Grossi.
Grossi reasoned that Kolb has been groomed to play in a West Coast offense, something the Cardinals don't run.
Kolb himself has been on record as saying that the Arizona offense was tough for him to pick up this season:
"We have a lot of route-changing going on during the play. I'm trying to adjust to that on the fly sometimes, and I'm not used to having to do that. I'm used to coming back seven steps, hit your back foot, one hitch, boom, get it (the football) out. Where here it could a three-step, a five-step, or a seven-step on any given play, depending on the look we get.
"It's something I've been dealing with since I got here."
Truth be told, it's still unclear if Kolb ever adapted to the Arizona offense. Between ineffectiveness on the field and injuries that kept him off the field, Kolb was unable to establish himself as the true starting quarterback for the Cardinals.
What is cemented into the minds of Arizona fans, though, is the triumphant second half of the season the Cardinals put together. Backup quarterback John Skelton held the reins to the offense for eight of those last nine games (Kolb started Week 13 in the win against the Dallas Cowboys).
Is Skelton the answer to the Cardinals' quarterback question? Probably not.
But Kolb just may be the fit the Browns are looking for at quarterback.
After spending four years in Philadelphia's West Coast system, Kolb is used to running an offense similar to the Browns offense.
Prior to the free-agent frenzy in 2011, NFL Network's Mike Lombardi predicted Kolb would land in Cleveland, not Arizona. Lombardi envisioned Colt McCoy not enduring as a starting quarterback for the Browns.
It appears that Lombardi's vision was accurate regarding McCoy.
Cleveland's president Mike Holmgren said that he can't "anoint Colt" as the Browns' starting quarterback next year just yet. After going 4-9 with McCoy under center, Holmgren will surely test the quarterback waters this offseason.
Kolb's situation could make him one of the fish in those waters.
Kolb signed a five-year contract extension for $63 million, $20 million of which is guaranteed. As part of that contract, Kolb is due a $7 million roster bonus in March.
Skelton, on the other hand, will pocket $490,000 in 2012—less than what Kolb will pay in taxes.
With Kolb's mediocre play not promising the Cards any more of a shot at the playoffs in 2012 than Skelton's, Arizona would be well served to spend Kolb's $7 million roster bonus on an inside linebacker or wide receiver.
The Cardinals cutting Kolb, taking the cap hit and filling needs at other positions would be wise. Because the next hit that Kolb takes could sideline him for an extended time, just as it did in 2011.
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