Eagles want more than Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb

Posted: July 20, 2011

If the Cardinals are offering Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie straight up for Kevin Kolb, as one report suggested, the Eagles aren't buying.

The NFL lockout is still on and the start of the league year is still at least a week away, but interest in where Kolb will be traded if the Eagles deal their backup quarterback is heating up.

At this point, it is all but a slam dunk that Kolb will not be wearing an Eagles uniform next season. But just to make sure that Eagles coach Andy Reid lives up to his end, Kolb went on the radio Tuesday to further state his case.

"It's time for me to move on and do my own thing," Kolb said to WIP's Howard Eskin, who was hosting the syndicated Dan Patrick Show. "I'm the first one to tell you that I had my shot and it didn't work out. That's why I have to go prove myself somewhere else, if that possibility presents itself. . . . It sounds like that's the plan and I hope everyone sticks to it."

The Eagles, though, will want to get as much as possible in return. And right now Rodgers-Cromartie, who XTRA 910 Sports radio in Phoenix reported the Cardinals were prepared to offer, is not enough, a league source said.

The Eagles want a starter in return - which Rodgers-Cromartie is - and more, possibly a 2012 second- or third-round draft pick.

While several other teams are still in need of a starting quarterback - a few having previously been linked to Kolb - the Cardinals are the clear favorite to land Kolb. The 26-year-old Texan clearly believes this, having stopped just short of saying he's already eyed real estate in Arizona.

"I think most people can connect the dots now, I hope," Kolb said. "Arizona would be a great place. I've obviously envisioned myself there and some other places."

Seattle, Tennessee and Miami are other possible landing spots for Kolb, but the Eagles and Cardinals appear destined to conga dance with each other until a deal is struck, likely as soon as free agency opens.

Arizona needs a franchise-caliber quarterback and the Eagles need defensive help, especially a starting right cornerback. There were hints that teams would balk at Kolb's future contract demands - he's in the last year of his contract - but he suggested that possible partners already know the parameters.

"I think everybody out there kind of knows what we're looking for," Kolb said.

Messages left with Kolb and his agent, Jeff Nalley, were not returned.

Rodgers-Cromartie and the Eagles have been linked as far back as the draft, when both teams were poised to pull the trigger on a deal had the brief lockout lift allowed them to do so. Some believed the Cardinals drafted cornerback Patrick Peterson fifth overall just for the Eagles, but that wasn't the case.

Peterson, though, allows Arizona to move Rodgers-Cromartie. The 26-year-old would be a significant upgrade for the Eagles, who failed to find a suitable replacement for Sheldon Brown and a competent complement to left corner Asante Samuel last season.

Ellis Hobbs reinjured his neck midway through the season and is expected to announce his retirement soon, and substitute Dimitri Patterson struggled. The Eagles have a couple of younger prospects in Trevard Lindley and rookie Curtis Marsh, but neither is expected to be ready to start.

Rodgers-Cromartie started by the end of his rookie season and went on to have a Pro Bowl campaign in 2009. He has 16 interceptions in three seasons but had what was considered a down year in 2010 when he led the league in penalties.

He is entering the fourth year in the five-year, $15 million contract he signed when he was the 16th overall pick in the 2008 draft.

The Cardinals are only two seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance, so acquiring Kolb could bolster their playoff chances after a 5-11 record last year. Quarterback Derek Anderson did little to make Arizona fans forget the retired Kurt Warner.

Kolb, though, is still a bit of an unknown. He's 3-4 as a starter over the last two years, but led the Eagles to back-to-back wins over the 49ers and Falcons last season. Despite being handed the keys at the start of last season, after the end of the Donovan McNabb era, Kolb couldn't hold off Michael Vick.

Kolb lost his starting spot by Week 3 and was back to being a backup. His days as a backup may be over soon enough. He's already thought about throwing to Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

"He would be a good one to throw to," Kolb said.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.

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