The Eagles have traded quarterback Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round draft pick, the team announced, confirming a report intially obtained by John Clayton of ESPN.
The Cardinals ponied up to get Kolb, extending his contract five years for $63 million with over $20 million guaranteed, according to Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com.
The trade ends one of the longest forecasted deals in perhaps NFL history. The two teams discussed the deal as far back as before the lockout.
The Kolb era in Philadelphia ends before it ever really got started. Selected in the second round of the 2007 draft, Kolb was finally handed the starting job last off-season after the Eagles traded away Donovan McNabb. But Kolb lost the job to Michael Vick by the third week after he suffered a concussion in the opener.
"I can't tell you I won't miss him as a person and as a player," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "I think he's very well-deserved of this opportunity."
The addition of Rodgers-Cromartie gives the Eagles the starting right cornerback they've craved. He will be able to step in right away and line up opposite Asante Samuel. Eagles coach Andy Reid said Rodgers-Cromartie will report to Lehigh tomorrow and that he could practice by Saturday.
The Eagles have now pulled off two major deals involving quarterbacks in the last two seasons. Last year, they sent McNabb to Washington and received a 2010 second round pick and a conditional fourth round pick in 2011. The 2011 pick, after the Eagles moved down and also grabbed a 2012 pick, turned out to be linebacker Casey Matthews.
The Kolb deal took perhaps longer than some expected, but the Eagles got their man and another draft pick to play with. Kolb is also expected to help an Arizona team that went 5-11 last season after reaching the Super Bowl in 2009. Quarterback Kurt Warner retired following a Super Bowl loss and replacement Derek Anderson was not the answer.
Kolb could be the guy to get the Cardinals back over the hump. He showed flashes during seven career starts, pitching a near-perfect performance against the Falcons last season. But he went 3-4 overall as a starter and struggled at times to throw the ball downfield.
Rodgers-Cromartie is entering his fourth season in the league after being selected in the first round of the 2008 draft. He was voted to Pro Bowl in 2009 and has recorded 13 interceptions over his career.
The 25-year-old had what many considered a down season in 2010. Still, he's considered one of the fastest players in the NFL and an exceptional cover corner. His tackling is below average.
The Eagles likely now need a backup quarterback. Reid gave an endorsement for second-year quarterback Mike Kafka but said "quarterback is a position we need to take care of."
Vince Young is a possibility. The Titans released him this afternoon. The Ravens' Marc Bulger is another viable option.
The Kevin Kolb trade that has the Eagles backup heading to the Arizona Cardinals, and that has been incrementally moving toward finality, is expected to be completed before the end of the day, an NFL source said.
The deal, in essence, remains the same -- Kolb for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Still left for discussion is the draft pick the Eagles would also get in the trade. Another element that needs to be completed before the deal goes through is a contract extension for Kolb.
Arizona and Kolb's agent Jeff Nalley are reportedly hammering out a deal now.
Kolb, of course, did not show for the Eagles' first practice of training camp. The Eagles excused his absence because the deal is near finished.
Check back with Birds' Eye View and this post all day for more updates on the Kolb trade.