Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Did Eagles get enough for Kolb?

The writing was on the wall for today's Kevin Kolb trade about 10 months ago.

Did Eagles get enough for Kolb?

Kevin Kolb started seven games and attempted 319 passes in his time with the Eagles. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)
Kevin Kolb started seven games and attempted 319 passes in his time with the Eagles. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)

The writing was on the wall for today's Kevin Kolb trade about 10 months ago.

That's when Andy Reid shocked everyone by naming Michael Vick his starting quarterback.

That's when we knew Reid might be willing to take the franchise in a different direction after the ever so brief Kolb era.

After an offseason of speculation and trade rumors, the deal finally got done today. According to multiple reports, including one by Les Bowen over on Eagletarian, Kolb is headed to the Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick.

More coverage
Career stats: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Gallery: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Poll: Did the Birds get good value for Kolb?
Moving the Chains: Eagles free agency updates

So the immediate question is: Did the Eagles get enough?

They were put in a situation that presented a completely foreign set of circumstances. The Eagles made their intentions clear early in the offseason, but because of the lockout, they watched as team after team found quarterbacks during the draft.

The Panthers, Titans, Jaguars, Vikings, Bengals and 49ers all took quarterbacks in the first two rounds.

Suddenly, what looked like a quarterback-needy market had shrunk.

In the end, the Eagles gave up a quarterback who has started seven career games and attempted 319 passes. Opinions vary around the league in terms of Kolb's ceiling and his talent. I tend to think he can be very good, and a few weeks ago, I tried to break down exactly what we know about him right now.

But the truth is, we don't know enough to draw any conclusions. Kolb won't have DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in Arizona, but he will have Larry Fitzgerald. He won't have Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg, either. Instead, he'll have to learn a new system with Ken Whisenhunt and company.

In return, the Eagles got Rodgers-Cromartie, a player who two years ago looked like he was going to be one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. But he turned in a 2010 campaign that was far from memorable, earning a reputation as one of the worst tackling defensive backs in the league.

So what's the answer?

Given the circumstances, the Eagles did get enough. Rodgers-Cromartie has talent, as we've already seen by his Pro Bowl campaign in 2009. If the Eagles can't get him back to that level, that's the coaches' fault, but they traded for talent, which is often the best move.

According to DraftMetrics.com, 24 percent of the players taken between the No. 14 and 28 picks in the first round between 1991-2004 made the Pro Bowl. Rodgers-Cromartie has already gotten there. Now it's up to him, and the Eagles, to get him back.

In one day, the Eagles filled two of the biggest holes on their defense - right cornerback and left defensive end. They also pocketed a second-round pick.

Considering Michael Vick's injury concerns and Kolb's value as a backup have been greatly overstated, this was a move they had to make.

Now we get to follow Kolb's career in Arizona and see how it plays out, rather than try to predict. If he goes on to have a spectacular career and lead the Cardinals to a Super Bowl, and if Vick regresses or has trouble figuring things out in the next few years, we'll view this move differently.

But for now, the Eagles had no choice but to make this move and are in a better position to make a run in 2011.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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