Philadelphia Eagles  

 

Kolb playing his cards right, but team welfare is first for Eagles

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There is legitimate speculation that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb will be traded once the NFL lockout ends, and the valuable one-time starter recently told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that "I'll go to work as a backup" if not dealt.

"That'll be my job," Kolb said. "That's a possibility. I hope it doesn't happen."

First off, Kolb really doesn't have much of a choice if it does. Secondly -- and this is just another reason why Kolb will appeal to more teams -- he's being a pro about the situation. It's easy to say what Kolb said, whether he means it or not, although he's a pretty honest and sincere guy.

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What's intriguing is Kolb also is showing that he pays attention, which should further enhance his appeal.

He watched Michael Vick go through this same thing last year. Vick could have said he wanted out after the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins and Kolb was anointed the starter. But Vick said he'd play any role the team that gave him a second NFL life wanted him to play. He'd preached humility after his jail stint, and he showed it at a time when he could have let ego intercede.

The Eagles also could have dealt Vick -- teams were interested -- but their ability to diagnose what's best for them came into play again. He wouldn't have retrieved the compensation that Kolb could now, and Philadelphia needed a backup because even though they committed to the 2007 second-round draft pick, there was some uncertainty.

Both players earned tremendous respect from their teammates through their season of back-and-forth by carrying themselves the way they did. That permeated through a pretty selfless locker room. Speaking to players on the team, Kolb never lost any support either. Vick just gained more.

Kolb knows that if he isn't moved -- which I believe he will be -- he could receive another chance in Philadelphia. Vick is injury-prone, and Kolb might have an opportunity to step in and make himself irreplaceable, the same way Vick did when Kolb went down. The Eagles haven't financially committed to Vick long-term, and he could end up being expendable should he stumble, be hurt, and Kolb fill in and emerge.

These things happen. That scenario seems unlikely, especially since the Eagles could receive a first- or second-round pick and then some to trade Kolb, whose contract expires after the 2011 season. But with the Eagles, anything is possible.

They might believe a championship run with Kolb as the backup is more important than his trade value. Then again, they could part ways with Kolb -- just as they did with Jeff Garcia, A.J. Feeley and McNabb -- and develop their next asset.

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