The nice thing about the new team pages is we can comment on stories we otherwise might not have in the past. This is one of those. (As it turns out, it made the main page after all.)
We actually did post about Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald, and how the Cards' front office supposedly solicited the star's input on their quarterback situation several months ago. Legend has it Fitz lobbied for Kevin Kolb and other veteran signal callers, though the report was later refuted in its entirety.
But wouldn't you know it, the draft came and went, and Arizona failed to address the canyon-sized hole they have under center. I mean, they didn't draft ANYBODY, and Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and John Skelton were their quarterbacks last year. That's quite the collection. Needless to say, if they weren't one of the prime candidates to trade for Kolb before, they certainly are now.
The latest bit of gossip comes from an Adam Schefter report on ESPN's NFL Live, where the newsman announced the Eagles' backup QB is destined for Arizona.
“Kevin Kolb is going to get dealt from Philadelphia, most likely going to be to the NFC West, and right now all signs point to Arizona.”
Schefter isn't exactly going out on a limb here--if the Cardinals aren't feeling desperate, they should be--but wow. All signs... that's, like, all of them. Or is it?
The Bulger Problem
The other name we keep hearing in Arizona, and the other allegedly mentioned by Fitzgerald, is former Rams QB Marc Bulger. Bulger finally washed out in '09 after years of injuries and playing on crappy teams. He wound up a backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore last season, his best days seemingly behind him.
Nonetheless, various reports are putting Bulger in Cardinal red via a verbal agreement, but that doesn't necessarily preclude them from the Kolb discussion.
At this point, the idea anybody would be relying on a 34 year old quarterback whose last and arguably only quality season was back in 2006 sounds absurd. Perhaps it's a sign of how hard up some teams are for passers, or maybe they are hoping Bulger can come in and be Kolb's backup next. It could be an emergency option too, in case they are unable to land Kolb for one reason or another. Whatever the case, Bulger as the planned starting quarterback on day one anywhere is more than a little hard to swallow.
Kolb for Peterson?
If this site had a Frequently Asked Questions section, "Why do the comments show up in reverse order?" would be followed by, "Will the Eagles exchange Kolb for Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft?" The theory is Arizona management selected the top incoming cornerback prospect with a wink toward Philly's front office.
First off, let's be clear that I don't think this would be a good swap for the Cardinals, and seriously doubt they really had that in mind. Kolb is clearly worth a first round pick, but fifth overall? That's steep, especially when it winds up being arguably the best prospect in the entire process. Essentially, it's one player who might be a franchise quarterback for one who might be a future Hall of Famer?
Whether you think you can justify that or not, it may not even be possible. Under the rules in the expired collective bargaining agreement, each team is allowed a "rookie salary pool," or cap, based on where their selections were made. Basically, if those rules were to remain in place after all this lockout drama ends, the Eagles won't have a high enough ceiling to get Peterson signed. Sam from Igglez Blitz goes into greater detail on the topic.
The other possibility we hear is the Cards sign Peterson, then complete the transaction with Philly. Really, you think Joe Banner or any team president would let another team negotiate with a player for them? I guess (and I'm not clear on whether that would comply with the rule either), but it might be time to admit Arizona was simply taking the best player on the board, and this particular trade would be a stretch to say the least.
Seattle still in the Cards, and all the rest
Notice Schefter did leave for the possibility Kolb could still wind up elsewhere, and did specify in the NFC West. Since San Francisco snagged their quarterback in the second round, and the Rams are married to Sam Bradford, that pretty much leaves the Seahawks.
Seattle is definitely a sensible landing spot for Kolb, as they have been trying to transition away from Matt Hasselbeck. Some people might point out they were burned swapping seconds and sending a third rounder to San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst last year, and that may very well be the case, but it wasn't necessarily a large enough investment to block a move for another quarterback.
In all honesty though, they may not be the only club remaining that can get involved. Most notably, the Dolphins did not replace Chad Henne as many thought they would. However, they have been tied to Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer. The Bills are weak under center, but may not be the most likely players due to the fact they are a perpetually rebuilding, small market franchise. And again, there are the Redskins, but I'm not sure the Birds would be as quick to send a young quarterback to the division rival.
So looking at the list of potential suitors, Arizona and Seattle still appear to be the most likely. It could also be some of the other teams haven't jumped into the fray simply because they are waiting for the lockout to end.
Whatever is really going on behind the scenes, we are hearing one team already has a 2012 first rounder on the table for Kolb. Andy Reid is naturally denying, but smoke equals fire. The Cardinals need a quarterback in the worst possible way, and the Eagles need to part with a quarterback in the worst possible way. It may be only a matter of time now.