Pondering the future of Kevin Kolb

Kevin Kolb has let it be known that he wants to be a starting quarterback in the NFL next season. Beyond that, however, very little is known about his future in Philadelphia, or elsewhere. Right now the Eagles control that destiny.

The asking price for Kolb — according to NFL Network information men Jason La Canfora and Michael Lombardi — is believed to be a first-round pick, or perhaps the equivalent in a package including a high second-round pick.

The uniqueness of this offseason and the unsettled labor situation complicate matters for Kolb. He can’t be traded until there is a new collective bargaining agreement, and player-for-picks trades involving 2011 draft picks also won’t be allowed. The NFL landscape could be backward in the sense that trades and free agency won’t happen until after the draft, changing how teams approach their quarterback situations during the draft.

So what’s next for Kolb? Here are a few factors that could play into his future:

  • Investing in Michael Vick: At some point the Eagles will determine how much they’re willing to invest in Vick. Many suggest the Eagles will use the franchise tag on Vick, but are they willing to commit long-term? His durability is a question, and what salary structure could be worked out one season into his return?
  • The market for KolbAlbert Breer suggested recently if Kolb is available, there will be plenty of suitors. That would only serve to drive the market to meet the Eagles’ asking price. Among them are the Browns and Seahawks, teams Breer reminds us had previous interest in Kolb. It’s also thought that the Cardinals, 49ers and Vikings are teams who might be willing to make the investment. The Titans, Panthers and Redskins also have unsettled quarterback situations.
  • Kolb’s value: What is Kolb really worth to other teams? Andy Reid was once convinced Kolb was the future for the Eagles, and another team would need to have the same  conviction in paying a high price. Kolb has seven career starts. Are teams concerned they really haven’t seen enough game film to make that determination?

There’s also the distinct possibility, due to all the factors involved, the Eagles simply decide to ride with Kolb during the second and final year of his contract.

“I think he’s worth a lot more to the Eagles than he would be to most of the other teams in the NFL, with the exception, perhaps, of the Browns,” Lombardi told NFL Network. “I think he’s more valuable to the Eagles because of the durability issues with [Vick]. If I let him go for a third- or fourth-round pick, am I really helping my team? I’d rather have him play out the year in the backup role and then let him go to free agency. … For the Eagles, it either has to be a first-round pick, or keep him.”

What the Eagles decide to do with Vick and Kolb should play out to be one of the big storylines of the offseason. And, since we’re in the offseason, there’s plenty of time to talk about it.

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