At this point in the Philadelphia Eagles offseason, two factors are virtual certainties. First, that Kevin Kolb will be playing for another team in 2011 and second, that the team will be unable to conduct player trades until after the draft.
With the implementation of a new CBA still weeks away (at best), teams around the NFL will be forced to build solely through the 2011 NFL Draft. The only trades that the league will allow will be pick-for-pick trades. Some fans have speculated that the wily Andy Reid could attempt to circumvent the rules by asking another team to draft for the Eagles in exchange for Kevin Kolb when he becomes available. However, Reid himself confirmed earlier today that that particular scenario is a no-go:
“No. No. No. Not at all. That’s…you don’t want to do that. Not from a third party in that way either. That’s also part of it, so you can’t say you’re going to take this pick and than give me that pick for Kevin [Kolb] later or whatever. You can’t do that. I mean that’s a no-no there.”
As a result, the Eagles will be forced to deal Kolb for picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Of the teams that have shown the most interest in Kolb so far, the Minnesota Vikings should be first on Philadelphia's wish list.
Why the Vikings? The answer is twofold.
First, with the asking price for Kevin Kolb likely being a first round pick in the 2012 draft, the Eagles will be looking for a team with a high probability of failure, in order to net the highest possible pick.
While the Vikings have been playoff contenders for the past few seasons, everything will change in 2011. In addition to a relatively new head coach in Leslie Frazier, the team will also be implementing a new offense under ex-Falcon Bill Musgrave–all during a time when coaches are not allowed to even speak to their players. Add a brand-new starting quarterback into the mix and the Vikings are looking at one rough period of adjustment.
The second benefit that this deal would give the Eagles would be a valuable veteran. A likely trade scenario with any team would involve a draft pick, plus a veteran player that could help the Eagles in 2011.
The Eagles' linebacker corps slumped during the 2010 season after the acquisition of Ernie Sims turned sour. Add the potential losses of Sims, Omar Gaither and Akeem Jordan via free agency to the mix and the Eagles are left with very little depth.
After successfully placing the franchise tag on Chad Greenway, the Vikings would be in the perfect position to throw in one of their talented linebackers, such as E.J. Henderson, Erin Henderson or Jasper Brinkley, to bolster the Eagles defense.
Ultimately, this particular trade scenario all depends on whether the Vikings acquire a quarterback in the 2011 draft that they deem worthy of building a franchise around. If they don't, you can bet that Andy Reid's cell phone will be ringing off the hook.