NEW ORLEANS -- Kevin Kolb’s availability has perked up ears in Minnesota and Seattle, coaches in those cities confirmed Tuesday, backing the Eagles assertion that there is already interest brewing in their backup quarterback.
“You have to consider a guy like Kevin if he becomes available. He’ll be a part of the conversation as well if that were to occur,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said when we asked him about Kolb at the NFL owners’ meetings.
Seattle, which has the 25th overall pick and a need at quarterback, is considered a possible trading partner, a perception that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did little to defuse.
“Anybody coming through Andy’s program has been through a great system, great coaching and leadership and direction and all of that,” Carroll said. “That adds to the value of a player rather than a guy who is coming fresh out of college.”
The Seahawks were reportedly interested in Kolb last season. They ended up trading for Charlie Whitehurst, who, Carroll said, the team wanted because he had been in the NFL, rather than choosing a rookie. The same situation would seem to apply with Kolb, who is far more highly regarded than Whitehurst.
“We want to compete at every single opportunity. That’s one that’s been out there that he possibly would be a guy they would move,” Carroll said. “Those kinds of discussions, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, we’re trying to be privy to all of it.”
Frazier, a former Andy Reid assistant, has the twelfth pick in April’s draft and made it clear to reporters that he wants a star quarterback. “In our league it’s hard to win without the right guy under center,” he said.
He mentioned drafting a QB at 12 or free agency as options, but obviously thinks highly of quarterbacks developed in Philadelphia.
“He’s a good young quarterback. There’s a reason why they had him slated as the number one guy going into training camp,” Frazier said. “They saw some things in him they really liked, and I respect Andy and their staff tremendously, as you guys can imagine, having worked there.”
Other coaches rumored to be potential trading partners were more circumspect. Arizona’s Ken Wisenhunt and San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh both declined to comment, saying they wouldn’t talk about a player under contract to another team.
Buffalo’s Chan Gailey said “we look at everything. We’re not good enough that we can bypass any scenario.”
He added, “we are very pleased with our quarterback. If you’re not trying to get better at every position on the team, though, you’re wrong.”
Another former Eagles coach, Ron Rivera, has made it clear the Panthers will be looking at the quarterback market as well, especially with the number one overall pick. It seems unlikely that the Panthers would deal that selection for Kolb, but they could try to put together a package deal.
“As we go through the process and we get to that situation, we’ve got to look at all avenues,” Rivera said. “I know of Kevin and I know his experience, so we’ve got to wait until that process gets to that point.”
No deals can be finished until NFL business resumes, though discussions are allowed.
Reid spent a large portion of his media session discussing Kolb, but mostly repeated what other team executives have said in recent days: that there is interest in Kolb, that the Eagles are willing to listen, but that he also really likes Kolb and his value as a backup.
Asked about Michael Vick’s long-term future, Reid simply said that Vick is the starting quarterback, and wouldn’t discuss his prospects for a long-term contract.