I was standing on the sideline next to the end zone last season when Kevin Kolb rifled a laser to the pylon and Andre Roberts made the improbable fourth-down catch to rescue overtime from what looked like a loss against Miami. The Cardinals later won that game, were 4-0, and life was very very good, for both the Cardinals and Kolb.
That was both Kolb’s apex with the team and the beginning of the end. The next week, the Cards couldn’t block the Rams and Kolb was sacked what seemed like a million times in the team’s first loss, and the following week, Kolb hurt his ribs in what ended up being an overtime loss to the Bills. Kolb didn’t play for the team again.
There’s no way to paint Kolb’s two-year tenure with the Cards as good. Everyone knows that. Not with the money paid, the price surrendered, the natural expectations. The offensive line issues were a problem, but Kolb had issues with the offense in 2011 and still wasn’t going to be a prolific passer last year even when things went right. Let me say this though: I do think Kolb, if he could have stayed healthy, could have won games. He did so at the beginning of last year. I didn’t ever see him being one of the top 10 passers in the league, but the Cards could have made it work. He couldn’t stay healthy, though, and as the cliche goes, availability is as important as ability (I keep thinking about that in the Patriots move to dump Wes Welker for the oft-injured Danny Amendola. But I digress.)
With the new regime, moving on makes sense. We’ve all known for a long, long time Kolb wasn’t going to be back at $11 million this season. I have no idea what kind of paycut the Cards were asking for, but it sounds like the Cards made an effort to do something. Maybe he ends up in New York with the Jets, or Buffalo. There might be other better options, especially considering Drew Stanton has a history with Bruce Arians and his ability to throw deep fits better in what Arians wants to do. The door is reportedly still open, but I will be surprised if Kolb returns.
(A quick aside: I know the Cardinals ended up paying $20.5 million to Kolb. It turned out to be too much. But I don’t understand the people that get so mad at that aspect of this. It’s not your money. They spent because they had to spend. It didn’t work out. Move on.)
The Cardinals needed a quarterback in 2011. Really bad. They felt Kolb was the best choice. It didn’t work but they made the effort.
Kolb too was a stand-up guy. He answered the questions, he understood the criticism. It didn’t work out. And the Cardinals move on.
Tags: Kevin Kolb
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