In a not-so-shocking move, the Arizona Cardinals have informed quarterback Kevin Kolb that he will be released.
The writing has been on the wall for some time. Kolb showed some promise at the beginning of the 2012 campaign, getting the Cardinals off to a 4-0 start before falling to a serious rib injury that eventually landed him on the Injured Reserve list. Set to earn a $2 million roster bonus and $9 million base salary in 2013, it was only a matter of time before the ax fell.
“QB Kevin Kolb rejected the Cardinals contract restructuring and will be released by 4:00 PM ET, source confirmed,” NFL analyst Adam Caplann said via Twitter.
Upon his release, Kolb will immediately become the best available passer on the open market. While he’s far from a sure thing, as evidenced by his short time in Arizona, he has shown glimpses of starting-caliber quarterbacking. The fact that the Cardinals put a pitiful offensive line in front of him didn’t help either as his pocket presence was consistently in shambles.
Headed for the open market, Kolb will likely garner some interest from quarterback-needy teams such as the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets. Caplann also mentions that a return to Arizona isn’t out of the question, but Kolb would need to accept a significantly-smaller salary in order for that to happen.
The Cardinals are now left with Brian Hoyer and Drew Stanton as their top two quarterbacks on the depth chart. Hoyer has thrown less than 100 passes in his NFL career while Stanton has been a backup for the past five years. Neither is a clear-cut starter, which doesn’t leave the Cardinals in a much better position at quarterback than they were heading into 2012.
More than likely, the Cardinals will spent one of their first two draft picks this upcoming April on a quarterback as they attempt to find some semblance of consistency at the position.
Moving on from Kolb is the right move for Cardinals, who desperately need a fresh start following a disastrous 2013 campaign.