NFL Trade Rumors: Kevin Kolb and Other Players Moving Up The Food Chain in 2011

Joseph ChasanCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2011

NFL Trade Rumors: Kevin Kolb and Other Players Moving Up The Food Chain in 2011

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals calls a play at the line of scrimage while playing the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Even though we still have the biggest game of the 2010 NFL season to look forward to, it's never to early to look ahead, even if looking ahead we see a looming labor crisis growing ever larger on the horizon with no solution yet in sight. 

    Try to look past that if you can to a happy future with rainbows and leprechauns in which we actually do get to see NFL football in 2011.

    In that future (fantastical as it may be), there are a number of interesting trade scenarios that could play out, resulting in some familiar faces in new places getting the chance to shine. 

    Here is a rundown of the most interesting trade scenarios that may just create new stars—and reignite some old ones.

10. Matt Flynn

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    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15:  Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Drafted by the Packers in the seventh round in 2008, Matt Flynn immediately became to Aaron Rodgers what Rodgers had been to Brett Favre.

    As Rodgers has emerged in recent years from Favre's shadow to establish himself as one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks, Flynn has sat patiently in the wings and waited for his chance. 

    It's increasingly looking as though that chance will never come in Green Bay, however.

    Flynn has some promise and would be better served getting a chance to play more elsewhere. 

    The Packers could use him as a chip to get themselves into a better draft position, since their Super Bowl run has guaranteed they will pick no higher than 31st come April.

    And really, how many of you Packers fans honestly care about holding onto a backup QB with Rodgers manning the position for the foreseeable future?

9. Chad Henne

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12:  Chad Henne #7 of the Miami Dolphins scrambles from the pocket against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Chad Henne has been the Dolphins' starting quarterback over the last two seasons almost by default.

    Previous QB Chad Pennington had his career interrupted by numerous injuries, and Miami hasn't been able to find a suitable long-term replacement yet. 

    They'll certainly be looking to fill that void via either the draft or free agency this offseason, and any plan to fall back on Henne is a secondary option.

    Instead of keeping the status quo, which isn't working, they might be better served to go for a completely fresh start.  They should let guys like Henne and Ricky Williams go to get some new faces on the sideline. 

    Henne is still young, and would hold decent trade value.  He also might still have a good career in front of him, if he can find the right mix and support system. 

    It doesn't seem like that system in Miami though. 

    Both parties might find the grass is greener on the other side.

8. Devin Hester

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears returns a kick against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Devin Hester returned to the top of his game in 2010, but his role in Chicago remains a bit of an open question.

    He has wanted to be integrated more into the offense as a wide receiver, but has yet to really establish himself in that role. 

    The Bears have been inclined to keep him as a specialist in the return game and not dilute his value by moving him to a position where he has never made much of an impact.

    Return specialists generally have somewhat short life spans, and Hester's trade value will probably never be higher than it is right now. 

    Chicago clearly needs to upgrade on offense—Hester might be able to serve as a means to an end there.

    He also might find he can blossom more in another system, with another team that allows him to get a shot as a receiver from scrimmage.

7. Charlie Whitehurst

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    SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst #6 of the Seattle Seahawks waits for the snap during their game against the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field on January 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Seattle acquired Charlie Whitehurst last offseason as an insurance policy for long-time starter Matt Hasselbeck.

    Whitehurst proved to be valuable in his limited role, leading the Seahawks to a victory over St. Louis in the final week of the regular season that clinched a postseason berth.

    But head coach Pete Carroll went back to Hasselbeck for the postseason, and he seemed to find a fountain of youth. 

    Now, the team says that re-signing its incumbent QB is its top priority this offseason, and the decision seems to have been made to stick with Hasselbeck for at least one more year.

    Combine that with the idea that Seattle could draft a QB—like hometown hero Jake Locker—in April, to let him develop under Hasselbeck for a season before taking the reins in 2012, and there doesn't seem to be a place for Whitehurst in their plans.

    But at still just 28 years old, and with very limited NFL mileage on his tires, Whitehurst is an attractive option for a number of teams. 

    I sound like a broken record, echoing ideas from the Flynn and Henne slides, but it rings true. 

    The 'Hawks could flip Whitehurst for some help on the other side of the ball, and let him soar somewhere else.

6. DeSean Jackson

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs down field against the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    DeSean Jackson enjoyed another Pro Bowl season in 2010, leading the league in yards per catch at 22.5 and continuing to produce electrifying, highlight-reel plays.

    He also suffered from multiple injury problems that, while they didn't sideline him for too long, still present the Eagles with concerns moving forward. 

    Foremost among them was a devastating hit in October that led to a concussion and sporadic memory loss. Jackson has already had multiple concussions now in his still brief career, and he sat out the Pro Bowl with a left knee injury suffered in the Eagles' playoff loss to Green Bay. 

    In addition, he has begun to express some frustration over not receiving a long-term contract offer from the Philly front office yet. Reports have said it became a distraction toward the end of the season, and if he continues to grow more and more unhappy, a trade could eventually be the only solution.

    For their part, the Eagles might want to look for a more mature playmaker for the long term, and let Jackson do his schtick in a place like Cincinnati, where they clearly tolerate that sort of thing. 

    His talent remains undeniable, and he's just 24, so he holds great value around the league.

5. Larry Fitzgerald

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 2:  Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a touchdown against the San Francisco 49er during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on January 2, 2011 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Larry Fitzgerald's contract situation in Arizona is a ticking time bomb.

    He has one year remaining on his deal, but he also has a stipulation that the team can't franchise him when it's up, so he will be looking for a major payday next offseason. 

    The Cardinals might be stuck in a Carmelo Anthony-type situation, where their best bet is to trade him now while they can still get something in return.

    For his part, he'll be helped by moving to a team not on the wrong side of the bubble. 

    Everyone else, including fellow star wideout Anquan Boldin, has already left town, and the Cardinals are not the same team that made the Super Bowl just two years ago.

    They should use Fitzgerald to continue rebuilding, and he should be even more of a star wherever he lands.

4. Vince Young

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10:  Quarteback Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The recent developments in Tennessee have not changed Vince Young's status.

    While Bud Adams has decided to part ways with long-time head coach Jeff Fisher, Young is still on the outs, as well. 

    Recent comments from within the organization show they will try to do everything they can to trade him rather than simply release him.

    The Titans will have 10 days from the signing of a new CBA to get a deal done before Young is due a $4.25 million roster bonus, which doesn't give them a lot of wiggle room.

    But a team like Minnesota could be aggressive enough to not want to leave his acquisition in doubt. 

    Look for his contract to be restructured in any deal.

    Young carries some baggage, but is still young enough (no pun intended) to be able to pick up the pieces if he can find a place with a coach who doesn't have it in for him from day one. 

    Then he'll have every opportunity to put in the work to change people's opinions of him.

3. Vincent Jackson

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers scores a touchdown on an 11-yard pass in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Phot
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Vincent Jackson is a free agent, but indications are the Chargers will place the franchise tag on him (if such a system still exists).

    They'll either keep him or look to trade him so that they can at least get something in return.

    I think the franchised-then-traded route has as good a chance as any to actually happen. 

    There are plenty of teams who will be lining up to sign a big-play receiver who will still only be 28 years old next year and still should have some good years left at the top of his game.

    The Chargers may also be better off without him, as he has disrupted the team and caused frustration with his long holdout and public comments. 

    San Diego is as talented a team in the league, but seems to have a bit of a toxic clubhouse.

    The writing is on the wall for a parting of the ways, but the Chargers will want it to be on their terms. 

    Either way, Jackson should find happier days somewhere else (St. Louis, perhaps?).

2. Carson Palmer

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals calls a play at the line of scrimage while playing the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Carson Palmer has expressed a desire to be traded to a team with less chaos surrounding it and dysfunction within.

    The Bengals, for their part, have stated publicly that Palmer remains central to their future plans and will not be looking to move him. 

    But that stance can easily change if the right offer comes along. 

    While Palmer is the best quarterback in Cincy since Boomer Esiason, they still have not been able to find consistent success.

    Perhaps it's not his fault, but either way, the current nucleus has had its chance to win as it is currently situated. 

    Palmer could shake off some tarnish he has accumulated in recent seasons in a different system, and the Bengals could get enough other pieces in return to give them a good shot at rebuilding quickly.

1. Kevin Kolb

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Kevin Kolb remains the most intriguing player who should be available on the trade market, whenever it materializes.

    The Eagles stated yesterday they intend to place the franchise tag on soon-to-be free agent quarterback Michael Vick and will look to re-sign him to remain the starter next season. 

    That left Kolb as the odd man out. 

    Kolb waited patiently for years behind Donovan McNabb, only to see what was supposed to finally be his chance to start once and for all yanked out from under him after an injury suffered in Week 1.

    He's still only 26 years old, he's got prototypical NFL quarterback size and skills, and he'll be next year's version of Matt Cassel. 

    That situation worked out for both sides, as New England has continued to dominate the AFC East and Cassel led the Chiefs to the AFC West title this year.

    A similar situation could happen for Kolb and the Eagles.