If, as a Philadelphia Daily News columnist recently wrote, Kevin Kolb has become the face of the NFL lockout, the expression on that face might prove to be one of pain.
Of the many topics manufactured in the media's desperate search for something to write and talk about while next to nothing is going on, Kolb's future has easily been the biggest.
Although no trades are permitted, vast amounts of space and time have been devoted by this outlet and any number of others about potential deals the Eagles will make to unload Kolb once football business resumes. Some have been reported with more certainty than speculation. And all have explored the draft-pick compensation the Eagles should/will receive for the quarterback.
It's fair to say that Kolb hasn't had much of an NFL career. He briefly held the Eagles' starting job, and he doesn't have enough of a body of work as a pro to be evaluated at a dramatically higher level than most of the quarterbacks drafted last month.
But the perception is, because a highly credible sort such as Eagles coach Andy Reid thought enough of him to draft him in the second round and eventually name him a starter and because he had a couple of impressive performances, Kolb represents the best available non-rookie at a premium position. He is the what-if guy, as in, what if he hadn't suffered that concussion halfway through the 2010 season opener? And what if Michael Vick hadn't been so brilliant in Kolb's place?
For that, Kolb is the subject of seemingly endless buzz. With no real NFL transactions of any kind to discuss, thorough analysis of every aspect of Kolb's quarterbacking skills and their corresponding value to another team virtually is the only game in town. If you believe everything you read and hear, he's already a member of the Arizona Cardinals, who, by the way, already have parted with two second-round draft picks to land him. But there's always a chance he'll wind up with the Seattle Seahawks ... or the Miami Dolphins ... or ...
Despite presumably being wanted so much by so many different teams, Kolb shouldn't be too quick to celebrate. In trying to fill the void of real NFL news, reporters and analysts have managed to ramp up the pressure for him to be an instant star ... and viewed as a major flop if he isn't. As columnist Rich Hoffman pointed out, no one will feel much sympathy for a guy who received more than $10 million in signing bonus last year.
But when this lockout does become a memory, Kolb can only hope that discussion about where and for how much he would be traded isn't the extent of his NFL legacy.
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