Kevin Kolb Released by Arizona Cardinals

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 15, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 4:   Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 4, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals released incumbent starting quarterback Kevin Kolb on Friday, as the new regime is moving in a different direction at the game's most important position.

The Cardinals' Twitter feed broke the news:

Kolb signed a six-year, $63.5 million deal back in 2011 to be the team's long-term answer under center. Things haven't quite gone according to plan, though, and as Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports points out, Kolb was due a $2 million roster bonus in addition to his $9 million salary for 2013.

Adam Caplan of indicated earlier in the week that Kolb would meet with the Cards' front office, presumably to restructure his deal:

Clearly, the proper compromise could not be made, but Caplan also reported that the quarterback is welcome to return to Arizona. 

The lockout-shortened 2011 season got Kolb off to an odd start in Arizona, and injuries prevented him from separating himself from John Skelton as the clear starting signal-caller.

After an open competition for the starting job this past season, Kolb came out on top. He then led the Cardinals to a 4-0 start, making them the most surprising storyline of the young NFL season.

Unfortunately, a gruesome rib injury suffered in Week 6 against Buffalo kept Kolb out for the remainder of the year, and Arizona collapsed to a 1-11 finish down the stretch.

As ugly as it looked for Kolb at times with the Cardinals, it wasn't all his fault. The team finished with the worst rushing offense in the entire league this past season and had arguably the worst offensive line—two major factors that led to Kolb taking severe punishment and eventually landing on injured reserve.

In two years, Kolb made just 14 starts—not even a full regular season.

Despite how much criticism Kolb has received, he did finish 2012 with an 86.1 passer rating, eight touchdowns and just three interceptions. In a relatively weak group of available passers this offseason, that could be enough to entice some team to take a chance on him.