Sources say Eagles offered a first-round pick for Kolb

The NFL lockout hasn't prevented teams from making trade offers to the Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb.
The NFL lockout hasn't prevented teams from making trade offers to the Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Posted: March 22, 2011

NEW ORLEANS - The Eagles have received at least one offer for Kevin Kolb that would include a first-round draft pick in exchange for the quarterback, a league source said Monday.

While Eagles president Joe Banner would not confirm the offer, he did say that there was a "more aggressive market" for the 26-year-old Kolb than there was for Donovan McNabb. The Eagles dealt McNabb to Washington last April for an early second-round pick and a 2011 fourth-round selection.

"You can figure if there's a quarterback that a number of teams are interested in, you're going to end up with some meaningful compensation," Banner said Monday during a break in the NFL owners' meetings at a New Orleans hotel. "You can kind of figure out what that means and speculate from there. That's the situation we're in."

A Kolb trade is pure speculation. The lockout and the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement have shut down free agency and any other player movement for the time being. But that hasn't stopped quarterback-needy teams - there could be as many as a dozen - from making pitches to the Eagles.

And who might those teams be?

"They are the teams people are guessing [they might be]," Banner said.

Three NFL West teams - the Seahawks, Cardinals and 49ers - have been popular guesses along with the Titans, Vikings and Browns. Last year, Seattle and Cleveland reportedly made offers for Kolb. Banner said teams that were interested a year ago "remain interested."

"But the pool of teams interested in him is much bigger this year, by the dynamic of how many teams need a quarterback and how few other options there are to get one," he added. "There were a group of teams that last year tried to get by with OK quarterback situations and it didn't work out very well at all - all the West Coast teams, the Carolinas, the Miamis."

The list of potential free-agent quarterbacks is thin (led by the 31-year-old Carson Palmer), as is the list of other trade-worthy quarterbacks. Also, the draft class is not considered a strong one, and selecting a quarterback in the first round is a 50-50 proposition.

So if there is a large number of suitors, the question for the Eagles is whether the value of the offer is worth letting Kolb go and risking the 2011 season if starter Michael Vick gets injured.

"That's the trade-off, because [Kolb] could sit on the bench and not play a game the whole year or he could play 10 games," Banner said. "But, clearly, there's some point at which you've got to know the benefit of the trade is too great just for the protection in case we have an injury."

If the Eagles can trade Kolb and decide to do so, they can't do it without having a backup plan in place. Second-year QB Mike Kafka is still considered a project by many analysts.

"That would be part of the equation on whether to do something," Banner said. "Do you have a solution that you feel good about at the backup quarterback situation? If not, it affects whether you do it or not."

Hypothetically speaking, so, too, could an attractive offer for Vick. Although the Eagles had identified Kolb as their starter last offseason, he was not off the table if a team was willing to match their exorbitant price. But the Eagles are obviously comfortable with Kolb, a four-year veteran, as a starter.

Banner dismissed the idea that the Eagles would be in support of a court ruling in favor of the players' antitrust lawsuit against the owners. A ruling in the April 6 hearing on the players' injunction request would lift the lockout and allow for player movement before the draft. Otherwise, the Eagles are less likely to want to trade Kolb for 2012 draft picks.

But Banner didn't rule out a deal after the draft.

"Pick a hypothetical date that this thing gets resolved," Banner said. "You could say, 'OK, for this year you give us . . . a player this year and a pick of picks next year.' So at least you're getting a player to help you this year and you have some future benefit, as well."

For the time being, however, Banner said the Eagles are sitting back and having "loose conversations" with other prospective partners. He said there can be no unwritten agreements until the lockout is over.

"So you can't promise a player, 'I'll do X or Y,' and you can't promise a team," Banner said. "But you can get to the point where you've fleshed out - if you wanted to - what everybody's best offer would be in a situation. That way you could know in your head, when things resumed, where you want to go and who you want to call."


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.

 

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