The most popular topics for Eagles fans during this torturous lockout have been the debate about which cornerback they should sign and Kevin Kolb trade scenarios. For some, the two even go hand-in-hand as a Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is certainly a feasible possibility.
Trading Kolb for DRC is something I think the Eagles and Cardinals are considering. But do the Eagles actually want draft picks or players in return for Kolb? There was a recent report from ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio that the Eagles want players instead of picks. Sal Pal also stated back in May that Kolb to Arizona is a “slam dunk“.
So if we assume that the Eagles and Cardinals will be in trade talks for Kolb, obvisouly the two sides will go back and forth on compensation packages. Trade negotiations are all about having leverage. The more leverage you have, the better your deal will be and vice-versa.
The Cardinals need a quarterback, the Eagles need a cornerback; sounds like a Kolb for DRC deal is a match made in heaven right? Well, where things get a little hairy is the perceived value of both players. Trading Kolb for DRC straight up seems like a better deal for the Cardinals, don’t you think?
Though Kolb is largely unproven, he plays the most important position in football. If he pans out as hoped, that trade deal would be the steal of the century for Arizona. So if I’m the Eagles, I want more than just DRC.
The Eagles will want to get maximum value for Kolb, whether that ends up being a player, draft picks, or some combination of the two. The Cardinals will want to give up the least amount possible in the trade.
The questions nobody knows the answers to right now are what the Eagles would prefer (DRC, other player, draft picks) and what the Cardinals would rather give up.
This is where leverage comes in. If the Eagles want DRC and a draft pick, they need to use the possibility of signing Asomugha or Johnathan Joseph as negotiating power to make Arizona up their offer.
If Asomugha and/or Joseph sign with a team (not with the Eagles) before a trade can be made, the leverage shifts to the Cardinals because they’ll know that DRC would be the best option left on the table.
The difference could end up being whether we trade Kolb for DRC straight up or with a late round draft pick as compared to getting DRC and an early round draft pick.
Let’s think about this for a minute from the Cardinal’s perspective. If I’m them, I’d rather give up DRC than a first round draft pick. Here’s why: Ike Taylor, the Pittsburgh Steelers free agent cornerback.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt hired Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton to be their new defensive coordinator. Ike Taylor will be available and is already familiar with Horton. If I’m them, I’d trade DRC for Kolb and sign Taylor. That’s a perfect plan for them.
Arizona may try to stall the Eagles on making a deal because Taylor likely won’t sign anywhere right away. He may actually just wait to see what happens because Arizona could very well be where he wants to go.
Asomugha and Joseph could signs deals very quickly because teams will be hot and heavy for them so that puts the pressure on the Eagles to get a trade consummated before they lose any leverage.
The best case scenario for the Eagles is that Asomugha goes on a Reggie White-like tour to multiple teams and not sign anywhere immediately. Of course, the Eagles could avoid losing any leverage in this regard by signing a cornerback before making a trade.
But it is my opinion that the Eagles will not want to spend big money on Nnamdi and Joseph will probably re-sign with Cincy. So they will probably prefer to acquire DRC and a high draft pick for Kolb.
But keep an eye on Carlos Rogers; if both Asomugha and Joseph go off the market quickly and Arizona plays hard ball, the Eagles could bring in Rogers and just trade Kolb to the team willing to give up the best draft pick compensation.
Let’s also hope that at least one or two other teams are seriously interested in Kolb as well. That would be the best type of leverage to have.