Don't expect Kolb trade

As entertaining as it may be to speculate about how much Kevin Kolb could fetch in a trade, and as much as the Eagles backup quarterback may want to start for another team, it is an unlikely scenario considering the NFL’s looming work stoppage.

The backup quarterback will not be traded – that is, if Andy Reid and Eagles brain trust even wants to deal Kolb -- unless there is a new collective bargaining agreement in place by the draft.

And why is that?

For one, Kolb – or any player, for that matter – can’t be traded until the start of the new league year on March 4. And technically, the 2011-12 calendar year won’t flip unless the owners and the players can agree on a new CBA.

If there is no deal, the owners are expected to lock out the players. And a new deal being in place by then – based on the current negotiating climate – is about as likely to happen as the Eagles winning next month’s Super Bowl.

The season hasn’t even ended and both sides are already dialing up the rhetoric. The constant back and forth prompted Eagles tight end Brent Celek to tweet the following this morning: “Why do the players union and the NFL continue to banter back and forth through the media? #getaroom”

So if an agreement isn’t struck by the stroke of midnight on March 4, then how long will a lockout last? There is no sure answer, but all signs indicate that it will drag on at least for several months. And that means, for almost all intents and purposes, that business will be put on hold. There will be no free agency, no minicamps and definitely no trades. (Sorry, Kevin)

The draft will continue on, however, although neither active nor drafted players can be traded. And if the Eagles are looking for 2011 draft picks in return for Kolb – and that would clearly be their preference – there would be no point in trading the 26-year-old unless the work stoppage ended before the draft.

Otherwise, what would be the point in trading Kolb even if the labor impasse ended the day after the draft? All the Eagles would be able to get in return were 2012 draft picks, and that would essentially be useless. They could trade Kolb for other players, but player-for-player trades are rare in the NFL, especially ones involving quarterbacks.

There are several other reasons why Kolb is likely back with the Eagles next season – Michael Vick’s durability and his low salary to name just two. Labor strife and how it will affect the business of the NFL is just one more.

So pay attention to three dates if you want to get a handle on how the Eagles will attack their quarterback situation:

-- A yet-to-be-determined late February date when the Eagles must decide if they plan on using their franchise tag to retain the rights to Vick, whose contract expires, for 2011.

-- March 4, when a new CBA must be agreed upon to avoid a likely lockout.

-- April 28, the first day of the NFL draft and when a new CBA would have to be in place if the Eagles were to want to trade Kolb.