The Answer: Where Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Kevin Kolb Will Play in 2011

By Bryn Swartz

Following the 2011 NFL draft, the amount of teams interested in Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb definitely decreased.

After drafting a quarterback in the early rounds, the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, and San Francisco 49ers are all probably off the market for Kolb.

In an article I wrote two days ago, six teams still need a quarterback and are likely going to at least consider trading for Kevin Kolb after the lockout ends. They are as follows: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins.

I don’t think the Buffalo Bills or Oakland Raiders will try to trade for Kolb. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good season for Buffalo in 2010, good enough that the team will likely keep him as the starter for 2011. Jason Campbell had a mediocre year in 2010, but the Raiders scored 410 points, the sixth highest total in the National Football League. Campbell deserves another year to start.

Washington had stated that they will probably go into the 2011 season with John Beck or Rex Grossman as their quarterback. Why? I have absolutely no clue. John Beck has played one season in the NFL, with the Miami Dolphins in 2007. He threw one touchdown and lost all four of his starts. He spent the 2008 season with the Dolphins, 2009 with the Baltimore Ravens, and 2010 with the Washington Redskins, but didn’t throw a pass in any of those three years. He would probably be the worst starting quarterback in the league. Rex Grossman isn’t much of a better option. He won one of three starts with Washington last year, posting a mediocre 81.4 passer rating. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since ‘leading’ the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006.

The Miami Dolphins are a legitimate possibility for Kolb but I’m going to cross them off the market simply because I believe Kolb will go to the NFC. I also think that the Dolphins will keep Chad Henne for 2011. Henne played poorly for each of the last two seasons, posting passer ratings in the mid 70s range. Yet I think the Dolphins will keep him for 2011, and will use the season to give Henne one last chance to prove his value as a starting quarterback.

That leaves two teams as likely suitors for Kevin Kolb: the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Seahawks likely won’t keep starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, even though he did lead them to a division title last year. Hasselbeck is 35 and doesn’t have much left in his career. Reuben Frank of believes that the Eagles will sign Hasselbeck to be their backup quarterback next season, a move that I personally would love. I think Seattle will keep 28-year old Charlie Whitehurst as their starter. Whitehurst quarterbacked the Seahawks to a victory over the St. Louis Rams to clinch the division in Week 17 last year. The 28-year old second-round pick from 2006 hasn’t had much opportunity to play in his career. I believe it’ll happen next season.

That leaves one team. The Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals had three quarterbacks on their roster last year: Max Hall, Derek Anderson, and John Skelton. Hall and Anderson are worse than awful, and Skelton showed slight potential last season but he isn’t good enough to start, even in the weak NFC West.

No, the Cardinals need a quarterback, and when they didn’t draft one in the 2011 draft, they showed the rest of the football world that they’re fully intent on bringing in another quarterback to lead their team.

I believe that the Arizona Cardinals will trade for Kevin Kolb to be their starting quarterback next season, and I think that they’re going to give up cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the deal.

The Eagles desperately need a starting right cornerback for next season. Dimitri Patterson isn’t capable of starting. Ellis Hobbs is likely retiring due to a severe neck injury. And draft pick Curtis Marsh Jr. is just two years removed from playing as a running back.

When the Arizona Cardinals selected Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft, I believe that they were selecting their replacement for Rodgers-Cromartie.

Many Eagles fans have grown convinced that the Peterson for Kolb trade will happen after the draft. I don’t believe so. I think the Cardinals want to keep Peterson.

But I think they’re willing to part for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who has established himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the National Football League after just three seasons in the league.

Cromartie intercepted four passes as a rookie. He grabbed six more in 2009, earning a Pro Bowl selection. And he collected four more in 2010. He’s returned four interceptions for touchdowns, including a 99-yarder as a rookie. He has 61 pass deflections in three years, including 25 in 2009, the fifth highest total since the league began tracking the statistic in 2001.

He would be a perfect fit for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011. Alongside Asante Samuel, I believe the Eagles defense would allow at least 10 fewer passing touchdowns in 2011. (They allowed 31 last year.)

It can’t happen until after the NFL lockout is lifted and the new collective bargaining agreement is established for the 2011 season. But I expect the Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kevin Kolb trade to happen the day after the lockout is lifted.

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