Philadelphia Eagles  

 

Eagles in position to eventually capitalize on Kolb's value

Once the labor situation is sorted out, we will have an actual offseason. When that comes, the major story will be what teams will make a play for Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Many teams need a quarterback, so the competition for Kolb should be strong, which is good news for Philadelphia. And the lockout might actually help the Eagles as teams unable to secure a quarterback in the draft will beat down their door. The Eagles' position is secure, because they know if they keep Kolb, he would enter the free-agent market in a year and bring back a third-round compensatory pick. With that in mind, there is no need to trade Kolb unless the Eagles get the right deal.

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So who will be calling? The first team will be the Browns since their general manager, Tom Heckert, knows Kolb from his time in Philadelphia. No matter what fans in Cleveland think, Colt McCoy is not secure as the long-term answer. And really, Browns fans, how could he be? There is a rule when evaluating quarterbacks: You must wait 20 regular-season games before an assessment can be accurate. Any evaluation before that can be misleading. McCoy had a good rookie season, but right now, he lacks the physical makeup to be a 16-game starter. That is why they will be on the phone with the Eagles talking trade.

The Vikings will also show interest in Kolb if they are unable to draft a quarterback. There are some reports that the Vikings have interest in taking Jake Locker, but even if they did (which I am not buying), they will still need a quarterback for right now. As the Eagles have proven with A.J. Feeley and now Kolb, investing in a talented quarterback can bring a solid return down the road. Taking that philosophy to heart, look for the Vikings to be involved in the Kolb talks even if they draft a quarterback.

With Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator, the Vikings will be looking for a rhythm passer, one best suited for the West Coast offense -- qualities that tend to fit Kolb. Minnesota can't think Locker is a rhythm passer or a QB built for its offense, which is why it's hard to put credence in the Locker-to-the-Vikings rumors.

Seattle could also be in the mix. GM John Schneider has not been shy about making trades. Even though the Seahawks want Matt Hasselbeck back, they have not been able to get him re-signed. Before the lockout, they offered a contract to Hasselbeck. He rejected the offer, and both sides seem far apart. With the uncertainty about his return and the doubts surrounding Charlie Whitehurst's ability to be the full-time starter, Seattle will be willing to make a play for Kolb.

With former Vikings coordinator Darrell Bevell now running the Seahawks' offense, Seattle will be looking for a quarterback who is ready to execute the rhythm-passing game now. The Seahawks need to retain their NFC West crown. For that to happen, they need to solve their quarterback issues.

Miami, Arizona, Carolina, Washington, Tennessee, San Francisco, and Buffalo all appear to be searching for a long-term answer at quarterback. Teams unable to find a passer in the draft will be in on Kolb. That means the line will be long, and the law of economics will apply: The more demand and the less supply will help the Birds.

And you wonder why the Eagles came out last week to say they would entertain offers for Kolb? They know the time to strike is now. When Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert come off the board, they will still have eight teams without an answer at the game's key position.

Follow Michael Lombardi on Twitter @michaelombardi.

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