Eagles coach Andy Reid said on Friday he will "evaluate" all trade offers for Kevin Kolb, and Mike McCarthy has stated the Packers have no interest in dealing Matt Flynn. Which team should be more inclined to trade their backup quarterback: The Eagles or Packers?
The truth is both teams' starting quarterbacks -- Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick -- are injury risks, as both missed games in 2010. Rodgers missed a game with a concussion and Vick started only 12 games because of a rib injury. For that reason, I would not trade Flynn or Kolb for another year until I got my backup situation resolved.
That being said, Kolb is more likely to be traded because he can bring a lot more compensation than Flynn right now.
Working off the deal that sent Matt Schaub from Atlanta to Houston, Kolb could be worth upwards of 1,100 points on the trade chart -- the equivalent of a middle first-round pick. Though, that would probably be broken up into two second-round picks over two years.
Keep in mind, Reid was in Green Bay and around GM Ron Wolf enough to see him trade Mark Brunnell, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks when they were backups to Brett Favre.
All of the NFC West teams in need of a quarterback probably prefer Kolb to the top quarterbacks available in this draft, though I see Minnesota, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Seattle as the prime candidates to complete the trade when the CBA is resolved.
The Eagles, because Kolb's status as a second-round draft pick and the fact he was named their starter entering the 2010 season figure to make the demand for him far greater than it would be for Flynn, who came into the league as a seventh-rounder and basically flashed in one game. Kolb clearly benefits from no one truly knowing how things would have turned out had he not suffered a concussion halfway through his first start last year and watched as Vick played lights-out football. The league's many quarterback-desperate teams view Kolb as being more ready to make an immediate impact, and, unlike the Packers, the Eagles are likely to receive an offer that is going to be too good to pass up.
No one knows better the value of drafting, developing and dealing off quarterbacks like the Packers, and Flynn is an example of a player whose value probably won't get much higher than it is now. So Green Bay should sell high. The Eagles, on the other hand, have to measure the value of dealing Kolb now, with Vick's injury history and the likelihood that the lockout could hurt his value to other teams. I'd probably deal Kolb too, but there's more reason for Philly to be careful.
The Eagles know they need to trade Kolb in part because he will be a free agent after next season. So the time to strike is now, also because they can entertain offers greater than the compensatory pick -- likely a third-rounder -- that they would receive if Kolb leaves in free agency. That puts them in a great spot. Timing is everything and the time for the Eagles and Kolb is now.
Risk in going after Kolb
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This isn't even close. The Eagles have to seriously consider moving Kolb for several reasons, most notably, they can get significant value -- maybe even a second-round pick -- in exchange. Philadelphia has done a good job of finding and developing backups -- Kolb, Jeff Garcia, Vick -- so finding Kolb's replacement wouldn't be much of a concern. Kolb also will be a free agent at the end of the season, as will Vick, and risking both of them going on the market with no compensation is not prudent or the Eagles' way of handling business. With all that, I don't think the Eagles are shopping Kolb or are in a hurry to move him if the offer isn't right.
They should both make the trade. The Eagles are going to be paying Vick big-time starter money and Reid can always develop quarterbacks. They can develop Mike Kafka as a No. 2 quarterback over time and sign someone like Tyler Thigpen to the mix. Paying two guys starting money isn't feasible, and Kolb could fetch the Eagles a late first-round pick. After getting a haul for McNabb, this makes sense, too.
For the Packers, coming off a title, given McCarthy's success developing quarterbacks and how many teams are in need of one, I'd deal Flynn, too. They could possibly turn a late-round pick into a second or third-round pick, while finding another late-round quarterback to develop. Rogers is just entering his prime. Strike while value is high, with Flynn playing well against the Patriots and all Packers' players shimmering a bit more than everyone else coming off their Super Bowl victory.