Larry Fitzgerald Was the Player to Be Named Later in the Kevin Kolb Trade

Greg EspositoContributor IIAugust 27, 2011

When the Arizona Cardinals announced the trade that brought Kevin Kolb to the valley they forgot to mention there was a player to be named later involved in the deal.

The original transaction was reported as Kolb heading to the desert with former Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick going to the Philadelphia Eagles. The news was received by many fans about as well as a man being forced to see The Help by a significant other (a fate I've avoided thus far). They were up in arms about the fact the team would pay such a high price for an unproven commodity who had thrown three more career interceptions than touchdowns. The outcry was ridiculous on two fronts. One, DRC was inconsistent at best in Arizona—heck, Philly has "so much faith" in him that he's the third corner now—and two, the price paid wasn't just for Kolb.

On Saturday the Cardinals announced the completion of the Kolb trade with the signing of a guy the signal caller will be completing plenty of passes to over the next few years, Larry Fitzgerald.

Let's be honest, the original trade was as much about re-signing Fitzgerald as it was about acquiring a quarterback. It was about proving to the all-everything receiver that they are willing to do whatever it takes to win and pay whatever price it takes to make it happen.

Guess what, it worked.

Thanks in part to the Cards proving they'd do what it took to get the most talked about quarterback on the market, Fitzgerald proved to be a man of his word committing to the team for what amounts to the rest of his career. You can say what you will about the $120 million price tag it took to make that happen, but you can't argue how important keeping the face of the franchise and the team's only superstar since moving to Arizona is.

In the end, the question becomes, was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick for Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald—both under long-term contracts—worth the price? That's like asking if the $6 million it cost to make the Godfather was worth it to Paramount. It's a no brainer, the answer is yes because the trade—like the investment the studio put into the movie—will pay off a lot more than the original cost over time (the Godfather made over $245 million).

The Kolb trade will go down as one of the biggest and most important in franchise history, regardless of whether the quarterback amounts to anything or not. That's because the player to be named later acquired in the deal just happens to be one of the biggest names to fans in the history of valley sports.

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