Updated Apr 19, 2011 - 5:22 pm
With Kolb it's all about control
We all want control in our lives. What person do you know that proclaims his or her undying gratitude for their life spinning out of control? Control can be pathological for some and complicated for others but never rejected by mainstream America. Control, not greed, is good.
Kevin Kolb seems to be trying to manipulate the system, the system that currently doesn't exist in the NFL but will one day in the not so distant future.
Kolb is a quarterback with great promise. He is highly thought of by many NFL pro-personnel scouts, coaches, players and general managers. He has received high marks from men I have grown to trust. Their opinions and thoughts have been proven reliable over years of conversation.
According to most, Kevin Kolb is ready to light up the league like a Taser in a trailer-park.
According to league sources, Kolb's agents are holding the Taser: they're seeking a multi-year deal from any team that acquires him with a price tag that scares many NFL decision-makers. Kolb wants his money.
It scares NFL executives because Kolb has only started 7-games in 4-years. He is a relative unknown, a guy that needs to prove himself before he gets the tag of "franchise quarterback."
The new CBA currently being negotiated/litigated will include a rookie wage scale that no longer discourages NFL teams from drafting a quarterback in the top 10. Teams will be able to draft a quarterback and develop him without forcing him into action because he's getting paid huge money and needs to play.
In addition, the franchise will no longer be hamstrung for the next 5 or 6-years if said quarterback sucks buttermilk. The NFL and the "Trade Association" appear to be congruent in their thinking: the players that have shown they can play in the league should get the money, not kids coming out of college that have not played a single down of NFL football.
Having only started 7-games in 4-years, Kevin Kolb is in a bigger boat than unproven rookie quarterbacks but he's sailing on the same stormy sea of suspicion; he's a quarterback commodity in a quarterback market with a quarterback model that is dissipating before player-agent's eyes.
So why would Kevin Kolb and his people try to capitalize on an archaic system? Why would they send the messengers out with a warning to interested NFL teams, letting them know they will seek security and big money for years to come?
So they can eliminate would-be suitors that need not apply. So they can mitigate the situation.
If you don't have a great receiver with a proven track record in a controlled climate run by an offensive-minded head coach in a city Mr. Kolb wants to play in, you will have to pay through-the-nose. But if you have a great receiver with a proven track record in a controlled climate run by an offensive-minded head coach in a city Mr. Kolb wants to play in, we should talk. Mr. Kolb might be inclined to be more reasonable.
"This is not allowed," you scream! "Teams can't talk to players or make deals for players during the lockout/litigation! How would teams know Mr. Kolb would be more reasonable? They can't talk with his people," you say with fire and gross indignation!
Well…Mr. Kolb's agent might happen to know a guy named Frank. Frank works down at the coffee shop and has a brother named John. John, whom has always looked down on Frank, works as a scout in the NFL. John likes where he lives and works and Mr. Kolb feels the same way about where John lives and works. Go figure.
Mr. Kolb's agent tells Frank, Frank tells John and John tells his boss.
This is an intentionally absurd example but there are ways to send out messages that do not include direct contact with NFL decision-makers, right? There are minions, pawns in the grand scheme of things that will do the king's bidding.
So what is the price of prosperity? What might Mr. Kolb be had for?
Think Matt Schaub. The similarities are eye-opening. Schaub had started 2-games in 3-years. The Houston Texans traded for Schaub in 2007. Atlanta dealt him for two second-round picks and a swap of first-rounders. Schaub immediately received a 6-year, $48 million contract of which only $7 million was guaranteed. But this contract was not without incentive: there was a $10 million option bonus due at the halfway point of the contract. And this was under the old, archaic pay-before-play system that is vanishing like the many clouds in the Kingdom of Potential Before Production.
But this is not the standard Mr. Kolb and his people are adhering to; this is an outrage to Mr. Kolb!
Unless, of course, you have a great receiver with a proven track record in a controlled climate run by an offensive-minded head coach in a city Mr. Kolb wants to play in.
Just ask Frank.