What to do with Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick? I have heard many opinions on what the Eagles should do about their stable of quarterbacks. Some of these opinions are right on the mark, but for the most part, the ideas are head scratching at best.
Before this decision is made, it would be very helpful to look at what happened during the season.
Last season was supposed to be Kevin Kolb's opportunity to lead the Eagles as their starting QB, but the Green Bay Packers had other ideas, leading to a Kolb concussion the first game of the season.
Fast forward nine days to September 22 and Andy Reid makes the announcement that Michael Vick will remain the Eagle's starting QB. That announcement came after Vick amassed nearly 600 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in less than seven full quarters of play.
After being named the starter, Vick went out and helped blow-out the Jaguars of Jacksonville and then suffers a rib injury against one of the Eagles' divisional rivals, the Washington Redskins. This resulted in yet another QB switch. This time, the switch was in Kolb's benefit.
Kolb led the Eagles to a 2-2 record with over 1,000 yards passing and six touchdowns compared to four interceptions. Those numbers are pretty good, but definitely not Vick numbers.
After the bye week, Vick resumed his role as starting QB and led the Eagles to a 6-2 record that locked up the NFC East and the #3 seed in the playoffs. A Vick interception in the final moments of the Eagles' playoff game against the Packers ended the season and started the discussion with what to do next season.
So again, what to do with Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick? The first part of the question has already been decided unofficially. Michael Vick will be back as the Eagles' starting QB next season. The only question that must be answered in regard to Vick is whether to sign him to an extension or to franchise tag him (CBA allowing) for the 2011-2012 season.
It's no secret that Vick has suffered tremendous financial losses as a result of his well publicized conviction for involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring. Because of this, re-signing Vick to a multi-year extension will involve some serious financial considerations.
An extension for Vick would probably result in an average yearly cost of $12 million. A franchise tag last season for a QB was worth around $16.5 million.
Vick is not a regular QB though. He stands out from the crowd by using his legs to create plays. With the hits that he takes because of his playing style, it's easy to see why there is some concern about giving a mega-deal to a QB that gets treated like a tether ball during recess on game days.
The safe play (and arguably the smarter play) is clearly the franchise tag. It results in more money but not nearly the amount of commitment.
However, my opinion is that Vick will have an even better season next year and that his cost of an extension will be astronomically higher in 2012 compared to this off season. If the Eagles can get Vick to accept a four year deal in the $50 million range (around $20 million guaranteed) then I say go for it. Anything over four years is too risky for this type of QB. If he wants anything more than that offer then I say franchise tag him next season and try again next season.
Now that Vick's situation is dealt with, it's time to deal with Kolb.
Kolb is in the final year of his contract and he is scheduled to make around $1.5 million. That means that there is no reason to move him unless the Eagles' get exactly what they want for him via trade (which is reportedly no worse than a first round draft pick).
There are numerous teams that need a QB before the next season of play (eight teams fall into the “need” category) so it's very likely that teams will be in contact with Eagle's GM Howie Roseman around draft time.
Why not before? This is because teams will not be able to make any trades until a new CBA is agreed upon.
Last season Kolb racked up just under 1,200 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. These aren't great numbers, but Kolb has shown that he is capable of at least competing for an NFL starting job.
The chances of Kolb being traded also increase because of the rising of 3rd string QB Mike Kafka. Eagles coaches have been very impressed with the rookie out of Northwestern and the consensus is that there might not be much of a drop off from Kolb to Kafka.
Personally, I don't think Kolb is worth a first-round pick. He has shown flashes of greatness (several games of 300 yards passing and a solid completion percentage) but nothing that I consider to be worthy of a top 32 pick.
It just happens that so many teams are in need of a starting QB so team reaching for Kolb with a high first round pick is more likely than not.
Don't get me wrong though. Philadelphia has a first class problem. There isn't a team in the league that wouldn't want to have a top five QB in this league along with a very popular backup.
Andy Reid has said that he'd like to keep both quarterbacks for next season, but the chances of having Vick and Kolb on the roster in the 2012-2013 (as in Kolb signing a new contract) season is about the same as having Donovan McNabb on next season's roster.
The risk of losing Kolb for nothing is too great to keep him next season. The team has too many problems (CB and O-Line) that can be nearly eradicated with two first round picks this season.
My opinion is that the Titans will use their first round pick to acquire Kolb.
For now, one QB is currently on the roster (Kolb) and one isn't (Vick). I look for that to be just the opposite come the start of the new season.