Kevin Kolb Brings No Closure to Buffalo Bills' Shaky Quarterback Situation

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IApril 1, 2013

Oct. 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback (4) Kevin Kolb against the Buffalo Bills at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In plotting out a plan to fix the Buffalo Bills' moribund quarterback situation, quarterback Kevin Kolb was not a name who crossed the mind.

That's because, even after signing him to a two-year, $13 million max deal, no one should feel better about the quarterback situation now than they did before.

The money clearly suggests that he's in line for a shot at the starting job, but since a majority of it is likely incentive laden, it won't cripple the Bills if he doesn't pan out. Expectations are low, but hopes are high. It's a good thing, too, because Kolb brings with him a four-year history of failing to reach lofty standards.

First, he was supposed to be the quarterback of the future for the Eagles. After developing for three years behind Donovan McNabb, the Eagles were ready to hand him the keys to the car in 2010. Then, Week 1 happened, as did a concussion that knocked Kolb out of the game and Michael Vick into it. No more than a few weeks later, Andy Reid named Vick his starter and never looked back.

Reid laughed all the way to the bank when the Cardinals forked over a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb's services.

That's when he became the Cardinals' answer at quarterback—or so they thought, anyway, as they handed him a five-year, $63 million contract to be their starter.

Two seasons, 15 games, six wins and an 83.2 passer rating later, the Cardinals found out he wasn't their answer, either—not, at least, for the price they were paying him.

He threw eight touchdowns against three interceptions and went 3-2 as the starter in Arizona last year before ultimately succumbing to a sprained sternoclavicular joint, a sprained shoulder and three ribs detached from his sternum. Such is the life of a quarterback who takes a beating as Kolb did behind the Cardinals offensive line—27 sacks equaled out to a sack percentage of 12.9 in a year where the league average was less than half that at 6.2 percent.

The Bills' offensive line will surely protect him better than that. It allowed 30 sacks all year, just three sacks more than Kolb took in a five-game span. It wouldn't be a stretch to think that offensive line play had something to do with Kolb's struggles.

Let's remind ourselves, though, that the Cardinals felt more comfortable completely moving away from Kolb and into a quarterback situation that stars John Skelton and Ryan Lindley. 

Couple his play with his label as injury-prone, and this is clearly not the end for the Bills in their search for a quarterback. That much was already obvious with the saga of private workouts and pre-draft visits with the likes of Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, E.J. Manuel, Landry Jones, Matt Scott, Tyler Bray and Jeff Tuel

Of course, there's still the off chance that Kolb could be the next quarterback to struggle as a journeyman before finally landing in a good environment to help him develop. Now, with the expectations a bit lower, perhaps he finally has a chance to develop.

He still may not have that chance with just two years and a contract that likely makes him an expendable short-term option. If nothing else, Kolb is likely to be a better worst-case scenario than Tarvaris Jackson or Aaron Corp, and for now, that's the best the Bills can hope for.


Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.comFollow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.