For the sake of this article, let’s just say that Kolb will in fact be traded this off-season. There has been a lot of debate about his trade value. To put it philosophically, Kolb will be worth as much as a team is willing to give. And depending on a team’s particular situation, he may be worth more to them as compared to another team. The logical situation is that Kolb will be most valued by a team that is basically a QB shy of contending for a championship. Here I’ve made a list of teams I see as needing a QB and have ranked them in order of being only a QB short of contending down to just needing a QB period:
- Minnesota– I’m not taking into account any players they may lose to free agency, such as Greenway, Rice, and Edwards. But, as they stand right now, this is the most championship-ready team and need only a legit QB to seriously contend.
- Seattle– You could argue San Fran here but since Seattle won the pathetic West division, I give them the nod. Hasselbeck is too brittle and only getting worse. This team just traded for Whitehurst last year so that may cause them to be a little gunshy this year. But, they will be viewing themselves as a championship contender after building some confidence this past season. Last off-season they were aggressive in making moves and they could certainly be aggressive again this year. I’m not sold on Whitehurst and maybe they aren’t either.
- San Fran– I thought they were dumb NOT to be in the McNabb mix last year. This year, with a new coach that will be running the west coast offense, Kolb could be their #1 target. And with the likes of Crabtree, Gore, Davis, and a good OL, getting a good young QB with some experience might be the way they opt to go. This will depend on how they feel about the QB’s coming out in this year’s draft since they are in a position to draft one. And ultimately they play in the weakest division in football…adding Kolb could almost assure them the division title.
- Miami– They obviously don’t like Chad Henne and Pennington is now only backup worthy. They added WR Brandon Marshall last year but couldn’t really utilize his talent. They also need a new RB but QB should be at the top of their list. They play in a tough division and Sparano may be getting desperate to compete.
- Tennessee– Unless they do a 180 on Vince Young, they will be in the market for a QB. They have some pieces in place but will also be in a year of transition…new coach, new QB. Their owner has Texas ties and may view Kolb (who played in Houston in college) as a “Texas Boy” and could be drawn to him. The Titans are my favorite dark horse to make a push for Kolb.
- Washington– McNabb looks to be headed for free agency and Rex Grossman? Seriously? No way. Shanny will be looking…or at least shouldbe looking, for another QB this off-season. I’m not sure how close this team is to competing and I think there is zero chance Kolb gets traded there.
- Arizona– Another team where a QB should be their #1 need. Ken Whisenhunt is on record as saying they will be “discussing possible QB options” in free agency. They still need some other pieces to become an NFC contender again but since they play in the toddler division, a legit QB could give them a shot at the division title.
Buffalo, Carolina, and Cleveland are other teams that may be in the market for a QB. Everyone likes to talk about the Browns because of all the ties with the Eagles and Kolb but I truly think they will stick with Colt McCoy.
Now, what is Kolb’s value? Well, we don’t really know what some team would be willing to give up for him. So in that case, we can try to find a ballpark area based on a few trades in the past involving similar quarterbacks:
The Matt Schaub trade– Atlanta received two 2nd round picks (2007 and 2008) and swapped 1st rounders with Houston (but they were only 2 spots away…Atlanta went from 10th to 8th). Schaub’s stats for 3 years with the Falcons were 84 completions in 162 attempts for 1,033 yards with 6 TD’s and 6 INT’s. In comparison, Kolb’s stats for the past 4 years are 194/319 for 2,082 yards, 11 TD’s and 14 INT’s.
The Matt Cassel trade– New England received the #34 pick in the draft for Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel. Seems like a low haul for the Patriots considering that Cassel just came off a season filling in for Tom Brady where he went 327/516 for 3,693 yard, 21 TD’s and 11 INT’s. Plus, they threw in a good veteran LB in Vrabel.
Those are probably the 2 most relevant trades in recent history that can compare players of similar situations and skills. There are some people out there that believe Kolb is worth a 1st rounder. Of the teams I mentioned above, Miami and Seattle would be the only hope for receiving a 2011 1st rounder. Miami has pick #15 and Seattle has pick #25. The others are all in the top 12 and there is no way in hell Kolb will fetch their 1st rounder.
Most likely we will end up with a 2nd rounder + another pick. Other intriguing scenarios would be swapping 1st round picks and a later pick in the draft. For example: Swap with San Fran. We’d give up Kolb and #23 for #7 and their 3rd or 4th rounder. Tantalizing? Yes! Plausible? Maybe. Likely? No.
The best case scenario we can hope for is that there will be multiple teams bidding on him thus driving up the price. Miami will be an interesting team to watch mainly because Sparano, after watching the Dolphins woo Jim Harbough, may be the coach with the most to lose if they aren’t competitive next season.
There are all kinds of potential trade packages that we fans can dream up. One thing is for sure, this will be a much talked about topic this off-season. Once the CBA is hammered out, things will be VERY interesting and exciting.