As we sit here on the afternoon of March 18, not-so merrily recovering from a day of pumping green beer into our veins, there’s still one vital component of the football calendar missing.
Alright sorry, that’s more than one thing. More specifically, we’ve been robbed of free agency, and it’s right about now that serious murmurs of serious trades begin to circulate. After the initial purge and surge of free agents at the beginning of March, teams often start scheming to fill voids through trades.
One year ago at this time Donovan McNabb’s name began sizzling on the hot stove. A few weeks later football continued its diabolical plan to ruin baseball when the Eagles shipped McNabb to Washington on the MLB’s opening day. The freeze on player movement during the lockout is disrupting more than just our normal opportunity for offseason scuttlebutt. Teams that either want to acquire a player or move one typically do so prior to the NFL draft, making the needs and focus on draft day clearer.
This brings us back to the Eagles and quarterback Kevin Kolb, the hottest potential trade chip who may end up being a victim of the league’s deep freeze. Kolb promptly lost the his starting job to Michael Vick last year after sustaining a concussion in Philadelphia’s opening game, and has said that although he loves the City of Brotherly Love, he wants to be starting somewhere next year. Easy translation: trade me.
Infamous for his QB waffling, head coach Andy Reid hasn’t committed to a path regarding Kolb yet. But he sure enjoys dropping strong hints.
Reid told the Philadelphia Daily News that teams are showing ” a little interest” in Kolb, interest he thinks will grow during the offseason. As offers trickle in, Reid said the organization will continue to “sit back and evaluate.”
Then, Reid returned to waffling.
“Do we love Kevin Kolb? Are you kidding me? I mean, this guy is a helluva football player. You look at his numbers and the things he did when he had the opportunity to start, and you start six or seven games and you’re the NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice, and all the 300-yard games he put together and the way he commands the offense and all these things, you’re not in a big hurry to get rid of Kevin Kolb.’’
Even during Vick’s remarkable season, the new car smell started to wear off a bit near the end. After not throwing an interception for the first seven weeks, Vick through seven picks over his last six games, including one in the Wild Card Weekend loss to Green Bay. During that stretch Vick was also sacked 19 times, showing the risk his scrambling presents for both the offence, and his own health (Vick missed three games due to a rib injury).
If the price is right and by some blessing from the football gods the labour issues are resolved in the near future–clearly two major if’s–then Kolb could be in a new jersey next fall. But for now, the Eagles still have a quality backup for their injury-prone starter, and he’s under contract for one more season at a minimal investment of $1.4 million.