Kevin Kolb’s time with the Arizona Cardinals did not work out the way he or the team envisioned, as injuries limited him to 15 games played (14 starts) over two seasons and he did not play well even when healthy. A bad offensive line surely didn’t help Kolb’s cause, but it was not a surprise when the Cardinals released him in March.
The Buffalo Bills cut ties with their own starting quarterback from 2012 by letting Ryan Fitpatrick go, and they signed Kolb to a two-year deal to effectively take his place on the roster. The Bills looked likely to have a three-man competition for the starting job under center after they used their first-round pick (16th overall) on E.J. Manuel, but Tarvaris Jackson was released this week to eliminate the other veteran that was in the mix.
Kolb has to now be considered the front runner to start Week 1 for new Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone, but Manuel is expected to get every chance to win the job during training camp and should get extended action in preseason games. With Kolb’s injury history, it’s far from a given he’ll start all 16 games even if he renders Manuel to backup duties early in the season. Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel may be able to stick as Buffalo’s No. 3 quarterback, but he is not a serious contender for the starting job at this point.
Kolb needed a change of scenery, and perhaps landing with his third team will be the charm. At the very least, the outside pressure attached to what the Cardinals gave up to acquire him and the big contract he signed is not present in Buffalo. But at age 29 before the season starts, Kolb is no longer a young quarterback and 2013 may be his last chance to prove himself.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.