Much was made of the trade acquisition and subsequent signing of Kevin Kolb by the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, and the team did so with the intention of having the quarterback be its starter for years to come. And he could well do so.
But it's worth noting that if Kolb's production doesn't improve in the near future, the Cardinals could move on with minimal financial and salary-cap ramifications, according to the quarterback's contract.
Kolb missed significant time earlier this season with foot and ankle injuries, and he isn't likely to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns as he recovers from a concussion.
Kolb will earn a $10 million signing bonus and $2 million salary in 2011. He's due a $7 million roster bonus this March, which conceivably could be declined by the Cardinals, meaning they would could get out of Kolb's deal after paying him just $12 million over one year.
Kolb has a $1 million salary in 2012, bringing his total compensation for that year to $8 million, and $20 million over the first two years of the deal.
With a $9 million salary and $2 million roster bonus due to Kolb in 2013, the Cardinals again have another chance to move on with limited finacial ramifications at the beginning of that league year.
If Kolb were released in 2013 -- when the salary cap projects to jump considerably -- he would count just $6 million in dead cap space. He would count $8 million against the salary cap if released in 2012, but the team would save $8 million in real dollars by not owing him his $7 million roster bonus and $1 million salary.
Kolb currently is set to count $10.5 million against the 2012 cap.