Both Kyle Orton and Kevin Kolb are on the market for the right price. Believe it. And let’s be clear; these two are competitors in any trade scenario, in that the outcome of one affects the other. Understanding why Kolb to Arizona no longer makes much sense directly affects our understand of why Orton to Arizona now does.
Prior to the draft, all the speculation had been that the red birds were looking to attain Kevin Kolb from the green birds, which meant Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton to Arizona was unlikely. The asking price for Kolb appeared to be a first-round draft pick and the Cardinals seemed open to the idea. But now that the draft has come and gone without any player movement, this idea probably no longer flies as high with the Eagles.
Philadelphia went 10-6 last year, ultimately coming up 27 yards short in a playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl winning Packers. Since then, the speculation had been that the Eagles would be highly active in free agency and that an additional 2011 1st round pick for Kevin Kolb could help propel them over the hump and immediately into the Super Bowl. Sounds reasonable, right? Well yeah, but now the draft is over and Kevin Kolb didn't get traded in time. A future pick for him doesn't do anything now to help the Eagles' immediate Championship aspirations. In fact, trading Kolb now, for a pick later, would actually hurt their Super Bowl chances.
Michael Vick is a scrambling quarterback, you see, and scrambling quarterbacks are tough to keep healthy. A team with legitimate Championship aspirations aren’t likely to give up a terrific insurance plan at the game’s most important position for an I.O.U.
And apparently I'm not alone in this thought, as it’s now being reported that the Eagles are looking for one or two impact players in a trade rather than the previously coveted draft choice. Let me ask you this: Can the five-win Cardinals afford an impact player? And if they give up two, do they have any left?
As with pretty much everything relating to the game of football these days, this is all speculation, of course. But doesn’t it all pass the common sense test, anyway? The Eagles are already a very good team and with a couple big moves in free agency, they're absolute contenders to make the big game.
Are they still willing to give up Kevin Kolb for the right price? Sure, probably. But when that price was a first-round pick, the Cardinals seemed like the only team to like the price. Now that the price has logically turned toward starting players, though, the Cardinals now find themselves in a much lesser bargaining position. They're no longer the only legitimate bird in the race. It seems likely, to me at least, that there will be more teams willing to trade players in a Kevin Kolb deal than there were teams willing to spend a 1st rounder in a deal. If nothing else, it has to at least muddy the waters, no?
Now this is not to say that Arizona is no longer in the running for Kolb, but rather that things are just not nearly as certain anymore. It’s at least slightly more likely now, that the Eagles keep Kevin Kolb to backup the scrambling Michael Vick during a hopeful Super Bowl run. It's also likely that there are a couple teams out there that would like to have Kolb... weren't willing to part with a One... but maybe are willing to give up a couple players for any number of reasons (attitude, upcoming extension, depth at the position, etc)
And doesn’t all this at least make the coaching staff in Arizona look at Kyle Orton just a little bit more? Kyle has a lesser asking price and he even fits their system better. I mean is Kolb really that much better than Kyle? How about this; would the Cardinals be a better team with Kyle Orton minus a future draft pick, or with Kevin Kolb minus Rodgers-Cromartie and Beanie Wells? Too easy?
One last thought here. Orton has been working out recently with what could end up being an important swing vote - Larry Fitzgerald. The two have known each other for years, and while we shouldn't read too much into yet another player working out with Fitz, he is said to have the ear of management in Cardinal land.
So what say you? If the Cardinals don't buy Kevin Kolb from the Eagles, odds are pretty good that they'll buy Kyle Orton from the Broncos. Now that the draft has already passed, do the 'win now' Eagles still look to Arizona for a future pick, or do they look around the league for a couple immediate upgrades on defense? And more importantly, perhaps, do the Cardinals now take a longer look at Kyle Orton in the mean time?