Peyton Manning Rumors: Cardinals' QB Kevin Kolb Must Step Aside

Steven ConklinCorrespondent IIMarch 13, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field following the NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 19-13 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals have quarterback Kevin Kolb signed through 2015. But if Peyton Manning finds his way to the desert, Kolb will need to pack his bags.

After trading for the former University of Houston star in 2011, Kolb saw action in just seven games due to a toe injury and concussion symptoms. His absence left Arizona in trouble and the Cardinals finished 8-8. 

If you ask me, that doesn't exactly show Kolb can be counted on. 

Kolb's NFL career has been overrated. In Philadelphia, Kolb replaced Donovan McNabb for a few games in 2009 and while he looked decent, he in no way was deserving of the massive hype which suddenly surrounded him. In 2010, he fell with an injury and lost his job to Michael Vick. We know how that worked out for Philadelphia.

And now Arizona is heavily pursuing Peyton Manning. 

Can you blame them?

Peyton Manning is a Hall-of-Famer and it's arguable he is one of the greatest players to ever take a snap from under center. With Manning, the Cardinals would have the opportunity to be immediate contenders from a weak division. Does Kevin Kolb give them that same chance?


There is no need to make the comparison between Manning and Kolb. The difference is important and it is how dynamic Arizona would become with No. 18.

Pretend you are an NFL defense and you have to gameplan for a Peyton Manning-Larry Fitzgerald combination. One week might not be enough time. The duo of Manning and Fitz would become one of the most lethal tandems.

And with the Manning addition, the future for young receiver Early Doucet only becomes brighter. Just look at what Peyton did in Indianapolis with Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon.

Not only would Manning help the receivers shine in Arizona but he would also play a huge role in the improvement of tailback Beanie Wells. In his first two seasons, Wells disappointed Cardinal nation with underwhelming performances. He looked like a bust. 

But this season Wells looked like a new player, finally notching 1,000 rushing yards and reaching the end zone 10 times. He was a huge reason the Cardinals even finished even on the year. With a confident, elite quarterback like Manning, Wells will show even more improvement.

Without a doubt, Wells would become a better pass-catching back as well. Peyton Manning has a great track record with running backs (Edgerrin James, Dominic Rhodes, Joseph Addai) whom were powerful and able to swing out with decent hands. I'd say Wells fits the criteria. Working with No. 18 would only improve his abilities. 

From a business side of things, it makes too much sense to bring in Manning over Kolb. 

Peyton Manning would sell more jerseys, put fans in the seats and give the Cardinals more attention they have had since Super Bowl XLIII against Pittsburgh. All of that would bring in revenue for a rising Arizona team. 

The only adjustment the Cardinals will need to make would be slashing salaries and regaining cap space. The team took their first steps towards doing so Monday by cutting tackle Levi Brown, who hasn't panned out since being drafted fifth overall in 2007. The move saved $14.5 million in cap space, according to Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.

However, other moves will have to be made if the team wants to sign Peyton Manning. 

The most important of those will be deciding on Kevin Kolb and his looming roster bonus. 

If Kolb is not let go by Arizona, he will be paid a $7 million roster bonus in addition to his $1 million base salary and $2.5 million in additional bonuses, again according to Somers. If Manning comes in and Kolb gets the ax, Kolb will still count against the 2012 cap for $2 million and the 2013 cap for $6 million.

There is no matter of right and wrong here. Either Manning signs and Kolb leaves or Manning doesn't and Kolb is kept as Arizona's play-caller. 

In the best interest of football and the Arizona Cardinals, the team needs to bring in Peyton Manning and become a winner again.

And Kevin Kolb must go.


Steven Conklin joined the Bleacher Report in October 2011. He is currently a student at the University of Central Missouri and a B/R Intern. Any comments, questions, or suggestions are welcomed.