Michael Vick's play in 2010 has caught everyone by surprise. Even someone like Andy Reid, who clearly saw something in Vick that few others did, could not have envisioned this.
Vick's play has earned him the job of the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback, and there's not a whole lot that Kevin Kolb can do to change that.
Knowing that, it's likely Kolb will not be happy to be back in Philadelphia next season. He knows that there are at least a few teams out there who have been watching him and at least mulling over the idea of making him their next starting quarterback.
And if given the choice, Kolb is obviously going to want that opportunity rather than sitting behind Vick and once again entering a season knowing he's going to be the guy with the clipboard.
Vick is most certainly going to be the guy next year, but what if he struggles early in the season and the Eagles are losing games? Say they're 1-2 or 1-3 and Kolb is still sitting on the sideline just watching it all go down.
Kolb will still have supporters in the locker room. He has friends on the team and it's just human nature to support him. Instead of being given time to turn things around, is it possible the locker room splits itself in support of Kolb versus Vick?
I understand wanting to have a viable backup should something happen with Vick on or off the field, but the team must take the human condition into account. We all know Philly fans would start the cry for Kolb should Vick struggle next year. Teammates might start thinking Kolb is actually the better choice.
And for that matter, if Reid really likes Kolb as much as he says, he might start second-guessing himself and think that perhaps Vick was a one-year wonder and that Kolb truly is the quarterback of the future.
It can't be allowed to happen if the team is going to be successful. They can't have another quarterback carousel and the only way to prevent that from even becoming a possibility is to move Kolb to the highest bidder.
That brings up another point. Kolb will be entering a contract year in 2011. Once the season wraps up, he'll be an unrestricted free agent. He can waltz right out of Philly and sign wherever he wants with no compensation coming back to the team.
But if they put him on the block at the conclusion of the 2010 season, it's likely they could get as high as a third-round pick and perhaps another pick in the later rounds.
Keeping Vick on a franchise tag really doesn't diminish Kolb's value because the Eagles can simply bluff that they'll hold on to him. Reid did the same thing with Vick when no one thought he would, so all the cards are in his hands.
If teams think the Eagles are truly willing to hold onto Kolb as a backup (especially since he'll be making bargain-bin backup money at only $1.4 million next season) the price for him will remain as high as it ever was.
Teams will not want to wait for him to hit free agency, and won't want to take the chance that another team swoops in and snatches him up before them. The only way to guarantee that doesn't happen is to offer a trade.
Either way, there is simply no way Reid and the Eagles can keep Kolb after this season. Vick has shown that he can be the guy and that he should be the guy, and Kolb has shown teams without a quarterback that he just might be able to win them some games.
Trading Kolb is now and will be the only option moving forward.
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