After winning back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history, Arizona floundered to a 5-11 record in the NFL’s worst division and lurked in the NFL basement in most team rankings.
But as fate would have it, Kolb was injured in Week 1 and replaced by Michael Vick, and the Eagles never looked back, riding him to an NFC East title and a starting Pro Bowl spot.
Kolb has stated that he wants to be the starter somewhere in the NFL next season. The Cardinals currently “boast” the worst quarterback situation in the league.
The pressure is on coach Ken Whisenhunt to win now, or be fired. He cannot afford to spend time developing sixth round and undrafted young players like John Skelton and Max Hall at quarterback.
By acquiring Kevin Kolb via trade, the Cardinals are not only getting a solid young quarterback to lead their team for the foreseeable future, but they can ensure that their franchise player, Larry Fitzgerald, will extend his contract with the team and pair up with Kolb for years to come.
Skeptical fans may wonder why trading so much for a quarterback who only has seven career starts would instantly improve the team. It’s true that the Cardinals will most definitely need to send two second-round draft picks and possibly a first-round pick to the Eagles in a trade.
Luckily, the Texans set the precedent for this type of trade in 2007.
Matt Schaub was the back-up to Michael Vick for three seasons, and the Falcons packaged him to Houston for two second-rounders. Since the trade, Schaub has been one of the top passers in the league, and his team has been among the league’s top offenses.
Not only is Kolb a better talent than Schaub, he has more starting experience and better numbers than Schaub did before he was traded.
In three years in Atlanta, Schaub amassed merely 1,033 yards passing, six touchdowns and six interceptions in two starts. Kolb surpassed those numbers just this season, and in his short career has tallied 2,082 passing yards for 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Not to mention, Kolb played in the NFC East, notoriously known as the NFL’s toughest divisions.
The point is, the asking price for Kolb is definitely worth the reward for Arizona. Andy Reid has a great eye for quarterback talent. He wouldn’t have used a second-round pick on Kolb in 2007 if he did not think he would be a great player.
He’s 26-years-old and just entering the prime of his career. The Cardinals already have enough talent to win football games now.
Abysmal quarterback play was the main pitfall of last season. Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton combined for 10 touchdowns and 19 interceptions “leading” the league’s bottom ranked offense, a far cry from the Kurt Warner days.
The Cardinals benefit from playing the league’s easiest schedule in 2011, as well as in the league’s worst division. As Seattle recently proved, 7-9 can win the NFC West. With Kolb, Arizona could feast off an easy schedule and put him in a very easy position to succeed.
Earlier I mentioned the importance of retaining Larry Fitzgerald. He has publicly endorsed trading for Kolb and wants to see his team make an effort to win a championship.
With Steve Breaston likely not returning, it’s essential that the Cardinals keep their best player happy, and what better way to do that then bring a franchise quarterback into the fold.
Kevin Kolb makes perfect sense for the Cardinals in so many ways. He’s an experienced back-up who learned from one of the league’s best quarterback developers in Andy Reid.
He’s hungry to prove he can start in this league. With the Cardinals schedule next season and a rejuvenated Larry Fitzgerald, Kolb will flourish as the new leader and carry the team back to its recent winning ways.
You can’t win in this league without a great quarterback and there is no doubt Kevin Kolb would be a perfect fit to fill the team’s biggest void.