Last week, I speculated on the possible compensation that the Philadelphia Eagles would receive if they decided to deal Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals. Now it's time to take a broader look at that potential deal.
As I have mentioned many times before this offseason, Kevin Kolb is a virtual lock to be dealt before the start of the 2011 season (if there is one).
Kolb is now entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles and his value has never been higher. He may be one of the best backups in the league, but with so many teams still in need of a franchise quarterback, the time to trade Kolb is now.
So once the NFL lockout is finally lifted, what can the Eagles expect in return for Kolb? Let's start by taking a look at the teams that could still be interested after the 2011 NFL Draft.
After the results of the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, several previously quarterback-needy teams chose to address that need and can be safely eliminated from the Kevin Kolb race:
- Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton)
- Tennessee Titans (Jake Locker)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (Blaine Gabbert)
- Minnesota Vikings (Christian Ponder)
- Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton)
- 49ers San Francisco 49ers (Colin Kaepernick)
In addition, the Cleveland Plain Dealer staff reported last week that the Cleveland Browns are also dropping out of the Kolb race, preferring to hedge their bets with second-year quarterback Colt McCoy.
However, Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network disagrees, insisting that Kolb will be headed to Cleveland once the lockout is lifted:
"I'm going to go Cleveland....I'm not buying the Colt McCoy love affair going on in Cleveland. I don't know how you can have the love affair. I think with the extra pick they got from Atlanta, that first rounder is going to be hard to beat them in a poker game. I think it's a smart move for them, it fits what they want to do offensively."
He makes a good point, so we'll leave Cleveland in the mix. That leaves us with the Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland Browns, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins as the most likely suitors for the Eagles QB.
Now let's take a look at what each team has to offer.
One of the Eagles' biggest needs this after this year's draft is a starting cornerback opposite Asante Samuel.
After drafting LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals are suddenly very deep at cornerback and very thin at quarterback. A deal between the two teams just makes too much sense.
As I mentioned in my previous article, the Cardinals could offer up either the shifty Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or the promising Greg Toler as trade bait.
If the Eagles were to seek out another defensive starter instead, the Cardinals have other young prospects in the form of defensive end Calais Campbell and interior linebacker Daryl Washington.
A first or second-round pick would likely be involved in the trade, depending on the players involved.
Colt McCoy has potential as a starting quarterback, but is still a risky decision for a languishing Browns offense. The team needs a quarterback to build a franchise around and the best option available this offseason is Kevin Kolb.
There is no doubt that former Eagles general manager (and current Browns GM) Tom Heckart will be giving Kolb a good, hard look once the lockout is lifted. Although he probably won't give up his previously assessed worth of two first-round picks, one first rounder would not be out of the question.
In terms of defensive starters, the Browns have little to offer, but a package of picks and a veteran backup, such as pass-rusher Marcus Bernard, would serve to sweeten the deal.
With the aging Matt Hasselbeck a question mark to return in 2011 and veteran backup Charlie Whitehurst barely even sniffing the field during his five years in the league, the Seahawks are in a bad situation at quarterback.
Much like the Browns, the Seahawks could offer the Eagles a package of picks for Kevin Kolb, plus a young veteran like DE/OLB Dexter Davis, who could contribute to Philadelphia's pass rush.
Although they took the Eagles' bait by giving up two draft picks for Donovan McNabb last season, the Redskins find themselves in a horrible situation at quarterback once again.
So far this offseason, Mike Shanahan has insisted that 30-year-old third-string quarterback John Beck has the skills to become Washington's next franchise quarterback, but the chances of that are highly unlikely.
Currently, the team's only other option is Rex Grossman who, despite starting the final three games for Washington last season, has not yet been signed to a new contract and is likely feeling very left out with all of the Beck talk.
In a desperate attempt to save their failing franchise, the Redskins may turn to the Eagles for quarterback help again.
For a first-round pick and a player like linebacker/special teams ace Lorenzo Alexander, the Redskins could have a real shot at finally acquiring a decent franchise quarterback.