The deal gives Buffalo a second veteran quarterback with starting experience in the NFL. He will compete with Tarvaris Jackson to see who runs the offense in 2013.
This move comes somewhat as a surprise, as the Bills' interest in Kolb had been kept under wraps this week. According to an article by Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Kolb had been in Buffalo for a few days finalizing his deal.
So now that Kolb has joined the Bills, what does this mean for the Bills' outlook for the 2013 season? Just as important, how does this signing impact what the Bills do in the upcoming 2013 draft?
Kolb in 2012
Bills fans will recall the last time they saw Kolb in action: Week 6 of the 2012 season, when the Bills defeated Arizona in overtime 19-16. Kolb led the Cardinals to a 4-0 record to begin the year, which included wins over the AFC East's Patriots and Dolphins.
Arizona had won eight straight home games coming into the contest, but Alex Carrington's blocked field goal and five sacks on Kolb proved too much to overcome. Kolb was knocked out of the game, and the Cardinals' woeful offensive line gave up 23 sacks during a three-week span, marking a painful time for the quarterback.
Kolb suffered from a sprained sternoclavicular joint, three ribs were detached from his sternum, and he also wound up with a sprained shoulder joint to boot. Kolb was never able to physically recover from the severity of the rib injury, and the Cardinals placed him on injured reserve Dec. 12.
In the 2012 season, Kolb finished with a record of 3-2 as the starter in Arizona. He had a positive ratio of eight touchdowns to three interceptions. During his limited time in the desert, Kolb completed 59.6 percent of his passes. He threw for 1,169 yards and had a QB passer rating of 86.1.
Offense in 2013
For now, it appears that Kolb will be viewed as the starter over Tarvaris Jackson, but nothing has been finalized. Since Kolb was a free agent, the Bills didn't have to surrender any draft picks, which is a positive aspect of this deal.
If Kolb starts, he will play behind a much better offensive line in Buffalo.
Andy Levitre, their best pass-blocker, was lost in free agency, but Buffalo allowed only 30 sacks in 2012. Arizona gave up 58 last season, the worst mark in the league. Similar to Ben Roethlisberger, Kolb has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long, so the Bills will have to work with him.
Kolb has been injury-prone, never eclipsing nine games played in a season. Since he joined the Cardinals, he has only been able to play in 15 of their past 32 games. His track record is too shaky to expect him to be able to play in all 16 games, so the backup is likely to see some action in Buffalo.
Draft in 2013
With Kolb on board, the Bills don't have to reach for a quarterback in the upcoming draft. If Geno Smith is available at No. 8, they can draft him if he's their highest-rated player. If not, they can pass on a quarterback and address other needs.
Don't be surprised if the Bills start looking to actively trade down to acquire more draft picks.
They could take a quarterback in the second round or later if the value is there. In that scenario, the rookie signal-caller wouldn't be pressured to produce from day one. Worth noting is that Jackson becomes a free agent after 2013, and Kolb's deal is up after 2014.
Buffalo doesn't need to force the issue in the draft. It could take anything from Geno Smith to a tackle, guard, wide receiver, pass-rusher or the best cornerback.
That is part of what the Kevin Kolb deal means for the Bills in 2013.
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