Kevin Kolb appears to be the favorite, not only to become the Cardinals next starting quarterback but also in the minds of Cards fans in general. With so many options out there - some of which have Pro Bowls and 20+ TD seasons on their resumes, I can't help but wonder why that is.
Trust me, I get it. Kolb is better than anything the Cardinals had last year. Still, is that enough of a reason to pay a king's ransom for a player, because he's better than the Derek Anderson/Max Hall/John Skelton triumvirate? Hell, I'm a better soccer player than my mother (sorry Mom), but that doesn't mean my team should be happy to have me on board.
But I digress.
Unfortunately, the very fact that Kolb is not Derek Anderson seems to be enough for many people, including ESPN's John Clayton. However, even as one of the strongest advocates of Kolb to Arizona, Clayton, basically said that while Kolb may not be great, he's worth the risk because he's not terrible.
Clayton's terrible reasoning notwithstanding, how can anyone say, with certainty, that Kolb is, in fact, not terrible? While a career rating of 73.2 isn't terrible, it's less than five full percentage points above Anderson's, and there's not much about 11 career touchdown passes against 14 interceptions that screams greatness. Incidentally, this guy thinks Kolb's statistics are more A.J. Feely than Aaron Rodgers.
Granted, Kolb is 26-years-old and has started a grand total of seven games in his career, but at some point the cream generally rises to the top and he, frankly has not done so, and it is not due to a lack of opportunity.
Many people point to the Eagles trading away Donovan McNabb in order to make room for Kolb as evidence that the guy is ready to lead a football team. This logic, of course, is based on the fact that Philly coach Andy Reid, a noted QB guru, is not wrong when assessing what he has at the position. While not as big of a leap as the one Ken Whisenhunt made when he thought he could turn Anderson into an NFL caliber starter, the idea that Reid could have missed on this one is one that can't be ignored. After all, the Eagles did start the season with Kolb over Michael Vick, who proved to be a much better option. At least Whisenhunt, in a similar situation, went with the veteran to start a season that ended with a trip to the Super Bowl.
Of course losing your job to an MVP-caliber player does not make you a bad QB, but at some point, just as the Cardinals did with Matt Leinart, a team ultimately decides to just cut its losses and move on from the guy they once thought would be the man. Unfortunately, the Cardinals made this decision at a time when most of the league felt the QB was not worth trading for, so they just outright released him. The Eagles, on the other hand, are playing their hand brilliantly.
The market for Kolb is as high as it will ever be. There
are enough QB-needy teams to create a demand, and for a
team hoping to land a long-term solution, Kolb is pretty
much the only option available. The lack of supply leads
to an increase in demand, however, as the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi pointed
out, the demand for Kolb seems to be based less on
what he's done thus far in his career, and instead what
hope think he will be.
Potential is nice, and there is a chance Kolb has yet to reach his ceiling. But if I'm giving up multiple picks, a starter and a hefty contract I want more than potential, I want someone I know will have success for me. Is Kolb that guy? The numbers say no. My gut says no. Here's hoping the Cardinals, when the time comes, also say no.