Kevin Kolb isn't the future in Philadelphia. Michael Vick is, and we all might as well accept that.
While that doesn't necessarily mean the Philadelphia Eagles are going to ship off a solid backup quarterback, rumors have gone wild over the past few months, and it certainly is looking like that is the only option remaining.
In fact, ESPN's Adam Schefter recently reported that three teams were in quiet discussions over a trade for the embattled quarterback, with the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans all emerging as front-runners to land Kolb.
Several other teams are in the mix as well, but in the end, only one team can swing the trade. Here is a breakdown of the top five teams vying for Kolb's services, with a prediction on who ultimately gets him.
The Cardinals found out the hard way in 2010 that you need a competent quarterback to win games on a consistent basis. In fact, you need a solid quarterback just to avoid embarrassing yourself. Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton all proved in very different ways that Arizona needs to address the position.
On top of the obvious, the Cardinals also need to pull this move out of their magic hat to keep star receiver Larry Fitzgerald from demanding a trade.
The Cardinals have toyed with the idea of bringing on Donovan McNabb, Vince Young or even Marc Bulger, but if they're going to keep their star receiver happy, they probably need to go with the younger, more talented Kolb.
The Titans have loudly proclaimed that they, too, are done with the quarterbacks currently on their roster. It's only a matter of time before Vince Young is on a new team, while Kerry Collins, Rusty Smith and Chris Simms probably aren't the answer for any NFL team.
Tennessee has the luxury of having Young, who they could send to Philly with a package of picks for Kolb. Young could cause a ripple in this possible trade however, as he likely only wants to play where he can start.
New head coach Jim Harbaugh supposedly has a good amount of interest in Kolb, and also doesn't seem to think the 2011 starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers is on the current roster. I tend to agree.
Kolb is a young passer with excellent tools who simply needs a new environment and some good coaching. He could work wonders in an run-first offense backed by Frank Gore, while given time to develop chemistry with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.
Matt Hasselbeck is being stingy in contract talks, which might actually be the end of his days as a starter in Seattle. It remains to be seen how that plays out, but if he doesn't return and the Seahawks still aren't comfortable with Charlie Whitehurst, this becomes a very logical option No. 3, when it should likely be option No. 1.
The Redskins have been rumored to be fairly interested in a number of the top quarterback prospects that will be available in the 2011 NFL Draft, although Mike Shanahan wouldn't be opposed to bringing on a more polished passer. The Redskins and Eagles just made a deal involving Donovan McNabb in 2010, which can both work for or against them.
The Eagles had no problem sending off what they likely perceived to be "damaged goods" but this time around may not like the idea of Kolb possibly making them pay for a bad decision for years to come.
While more teams will jump through hoops just to be involved in talks, it looks like it may come down to the Arizona Cardinals, who really need to make the right move at the quarterback position.
The Cardinals, contrary to popular belief, are actually still very talented on both sides of the ball and could be a competent signal caller away from getting back in front of the NFC West. While that doesn't appear to be a difficult task no matter who your quarterback is in that division, Kolb would arguably put them over the top.
Larry Fitzgerald needs to be appeased, the Cardinals need a major upgrade, and the organization as a whole needs to re-establish their identity. That identity used to involve Kurt Warner, Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin, and now it is slowly dissipating altogether.
Landing Kolb stops the bleeding, keeps Fitzgerald happy and gets the organization moving back in the right direction. Arizona will have to give up some picks and could ruin their 2011 NFL Draft in the process, but the potential in several aspects should make it worth it.
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