‘Tis the season for crushing failure, whether it’s the overrated kind of failure over the next few days at the Scouting Combine, or the misfires during free agency and the draft that we’ll discover with the benefit of hindsight.
There’s one potentially colossal failure which took place when the lockout handcuffs were finally lifted late last July. That failure has a name: Kevin Kolb.
You’re well versed in Arizona’s demise at the quarterback position by now between Kolb’s flop following the high investment made to both bring him to the desert, and sign him to a massively overzealous contract worth $65 million over six years.
Yesterday both head coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves confirmed the next inevitable step in that spiral, reiterating that while Kolb remains in the No. 1 spot on Arizona’s quarterback depth chart, there will be an open competition during training camp between the former Eagle and John Skelton.
The official statement from Whisenhunt was bland, but it was easy to read through his thinly-disguised language. If he can beat out Skelton in training camp, Kolb will likely be given one more year to prove that he’s not a floundering bust before the Cardinals’ losses are cut abruptly, and they seek another arm that’s capable of starting, and leading.
From NFL.com’s Marc Sessler:
“I think John’s earned the ability to be given consideration for the position, just because of what he did and his record and the way he played,” Whisenhunt said. “But I also think that we have a lot invested in Kevin as well.”
We generally despise the quarterback “wins” statistic around here, mostly because it was responsible for feeding blind ignorance to a legion of Tim Tebow followers. But in this case, a major investment was made in Kolb and he lacked both durability and effectiveness, while Skelton was under center for five of Arizona’s seven wins, and that means something.
It means a lot, and it has implications during this offseason beyond just the Cardinals, as Kolb’s tumble is a cautionary tale for teams like the Dolphins, Redskins, and now the Browns who will be pushing for Matt Flynn.
And the rest…
- The two draft coin flips were conducted this morning, with the Dolphins awarded the eighth overall pick, and the Chiefs slotted in at No. 11. [Todd McShay on Twitter]
- Mario Manningham reportedly won’t get an offer from the Giants. The hero of this year’s Super Bowl will become a free agent on March 13 because he wants to be paid like a starter. [PFT]
- They’re still reportedly pretty far apart, but the Bills will meet with Stevie Johnson’s agent today as they continue their attempt to close that gap and secure their top wide receiver with a long-term deal. [Buffalo Rumblings]
- The 40-yard dash is easily the glamor event of this week’s Scouting Combine, and the league is experimenting with a new timing method featuring electronic devices at the start and finish lines, a system somewhat similar to what’s used in the Olympics. [CBS Sports]
- Ben Roethlisberger restructured his contract again to help with the Steelers’ ongoing cap catastrophe, cutting his cap figure for 2012 in half. His contract will now count for just under $9 million against the cap. [Scout.com]
- The Redskins and Cowboys could be set to continue their heated division rivalry in free agency, and lock horns in a bidding war for Carl Nicks. [Hogs Haven]
- When he was prodded for a juicy quote yesterday at the combine regarding Andrew Luck, Jim Harbaugh said that Peyton Manning’s eventual replacement is one of the top five guys he’s ever been around. [Shutdown Corner]
- The Panthers will be looking to draft a player with a Newton-like impact on the defensive side of the ball. [Cat Scratch Reader]
- Marshawn Lynch will be either signed to a long-term deal, or franchised. Either way, he’ll be the Seahawks’ starting running back next fall. [Seahawks.com]
- If you’re one of the eight people who hasn’t seen LaRon Landry’s impression of a bionic Michelin Man who hoists elephants and rhinos in the gym just for kicks, then you should check out his definitely all-natural biceps that went viral yesterday. [Score Buzz]
- Of course there’s already a book about Tim Tebow’s 2011 season and his “rise to prominence.” [Denver Post]
- You may soon get to read many more Tebow books too, and even sit in on more Dr. Seuss readings, because Tebow has gone Hollywood after signing on with a Tinseltown talent agency that will manage his endorsements, appearances, book deals, and any television or movie roles. Yes, that said television and movie roles. [Hollywood reporter]