The writing is on the wall; with Michael Vick named the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid will trade the recently deposed Kevin Kolb before the October 19th trade deadline.
Once Andy Reid said, “I can’t predict anything down that far, nobody in this league can do that, that’s ridiculous, the future, we’ll just have to see,” when asked by reporters if Kolb would be on the team after the trade deadline it became obvious Kolb was available in a trade.
That statement was just part of Andy Reid's memorable double take when he named Vick the starter. That is because that statement came not long after he Reid announced Kevin Kolb would reclaim his starting job now that he was symptom free from the concussion he sustained against the Packers.
I always preach that the NFL stands for “Not For Long” but this is ridiculous. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Kevin Kolb was used as the justification as to why Donavon McNabb could be traded to a division rival? And now after just 10 pass attempts and a concussion that Kolb has been benched.
C’est la vie.
The following is a list of five reasons why trading Kevin Kolb makes sense from the Eagles’ perspective and as a bonus I have included a slide with the two teams I think are the most likely to land Kolb.
How can Kevin Kolb ever trust Andy Reid again? He can’t. The fact that Reid can’t guarantee if Kolb will be on the roster and that he ripped the starting job away from him after naming him the starter only days earlier.
There is an old idiom in the NFL, “you don’t lose your starting job due to injury. “ Well it has long been considered a myth, and now Kevin Kolb knows that for a fact. But how can Kolb trust Reid. How can Kolb ever feel comfortable playing for Reid again?
If Reid can't guarantee that Kolb will even be on the roster in a month how can Kolb trust Reid?
As far as Kolb is concerned Reid might tell him one thing one day and then 24 hours later due a complete 180. The best coach quarterback relationships are built on trust. How can a quarterback play effectively like that? Constantly terrified he is going to be benched or traded? He can’t, it’s asking too much.
And since no matter what, Kolb will never be able to trust Reid again, their relationship is broken. That means Kolb has been rendered an ineffectual leader for the Eagles because of the now broken dynamic between he and the head coach.
Andy Reid isn’t going anywhere, and it appears that neither is Mick Vick.
Kolb has to go.
Kevin Kolb is only signed through the end of 2011 and Mike Vick is in the final year of his original two-year deal he signed with the Eagles coming out of prison.
This means that the clock is ticking on Andy Reid and the Eagles to make a decision about who the long-term answer is at quarterback for their franchise.
Since it appears that decision is Vick the Eagles not only have to start him and see how he leads the team, but then they face the prospect of having to resign him in the offseason. Are they really going to give Michael Vick a long-term extension and then bench him for Kolb?
No way, Reid hasn’t said it, but Kolb has lost this job for good. And since Kolb is also under a short-term contract, one that isn’t entirely outrageous for a starting quarterback but ridiculous for a backup, the window for trading him while his value is still high is very short.
Short enough that I expect Kolb to be gone by October 19th.
When Donavon McNabb was traded this past offseason the Eagles’ skill position players embraced the move, calling it a youth movement.
Apparently Desean Jackson, Brent Celek, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy were all huge fans of Kevin Kolb on and off the field. Reports began to trickle out of the Eagles team that when one of the young stars of the offense had a question about the playbook or life off the field they went to Kolb, not Vick or McNabb.
Translation: Kevin Kolb is incredibly popular in the locker room, and a lot of these guys can’t be happy that he was benched after only 10 pass attempts. And this is regardless of how well Vick is playing.
A lot of these players might be waiting for the opportunity to get Kolb back into the starters role. Maybe they wont be as happy playing for Vick, maybe these young Eagles’ stars effort begins to suffer under Vick. Than the young stars start to complain that their effort wouldn’t wane under Kolb.
You get the picture, and if Reid wants to prevent any kind of snipping, plotting, faction dividing quarterback controversy he has to nip the situation in the butt right now.
And since he just named Vick his starter that means trading Kevin Kolb.
Media frenzy’s distract teams.
In 2008 the New York Giants failure to repeat as Super Bowl champions had as much to do with the distraction Plaxico Burress's self-inflicted gunshot created for his teammates as his absence on the field.
The Eagles players will get real tired real quickly only answering questions about the quarterback controversy. And being peppered with questions constantly, and the silent nameless player leaks that announce they prefer Vick or they prefer Kolb players that don’t want to pick sides will be forced to pick sides.
So if the locker room wasn’t already divided over which players support Vick or Kolb they will be eventually because the media will make sure of it.
And nothing makes the media frenzy like a quarterback controversy. Some members of the media and fans were ready to ditch Tom Brady for Matt Cassel. Bill Belichick though showed his quarterback what kind of trust he had in him, a trust that can never exist between Kolb and Reid, and traded Cassel. Media frenzy created team distracting quarterback controversy averted.
So the media cannot frenzy over a quarterback controversy if there is no controversy to frenzy over. And the way to end that frenzy is for the Eagles to trade Kolb.
Profootballtalk.com is already reporting that the Cleveland Browns have already called and inquired about a possible trade for Kolb. The Eagles said thanks but no thanks, but I believe they only did that so as to let interest in Kolb increase.
So that when October comes around the few teams that are interested in Kolb will become convinced that they are bidding against one another, and then one of them will over pay for Kolb.
Keep in mind Kolb only lost his job after 10 pass attempts behind a shaky offensive line. Kolb still has excellent game tape and wonderful familiarity in the west coast offense. He also has good size, has proven he can make all the NFL required throws, good athleticism and excellent leadership qualities.
While Kolb might not be able to start for the team that trades for him right away, it would still only be a short while before he was starting. And at 26 Kolb can give a team their quarterback of the future right now.
There will be quite a few other teams out there that would pay a handsome price in a trade to the Eagles, and they wouldn’t have to trade Kolb in the division.
Starting caliber NFL quarterbacks who have yet to hit their prime rarely hit the NFL market. Even though Kolb lost his job to Vick, the circumstances under which he lost his job wont kill his value.
Kolb’s value is tricky. Not quite Jay Cutler, but maybe somewhere in between the compensation the Falcons got for Matt Schaub and the Patriots got for Matt Cassel.
1. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have already placed a call to the Eagles to try to pry Kolb away in a trade. A little persistence and I think this is a trade that can get done.
The Brown’s quarterback situation has no real long-term solution. Third round pick Colt McCoy was actually rumored to be on the roster bubble. Seneca Wallace is a backup and Jake Delhomme is ancient and turnover prone.
And the value of Browns’ General Manager Tom Heckert in this situation cannot be overstated, as he was Andy Reid’s right hand man for years until he joined the Browns organization this past offseason.
Browns’ President Mike Holmgren is a major advocate of the west coast offense, the offense in which Kolb is most familiar and physically suited. This is a trade destination for Kevin Kolb that makes a lot of sense to me.
Possible compensation for Kolb: 2011 second round pick, Colt McCoy, 2012 third round pick.
2. Buffalo Bills
Head Coach Chan Gailey likes accurate quarterbacks who can make plays outside of the pocket. Not necessarily scrambling, but on bootlegs and rollouts. Kevin Kolb fits the bill for the Bills.
Also owner Ralph Wilson is ancient and wants to win now, Kolb is 26 and has had excellent NFL coaching and game experience. And the Bills do have some offensive talent, with C.J. Spiller and Lee Evans. While this makes sense, the Tom Heckert Andy Reid connection is too much for me to overlook.