As Domo wrote about over on Eagletarian, Andy Reid said recently in an interview with the team's Web site that the team will "evaluate" interest in Kevin Kolb.
On one hand, the news is not surprising. Kolb has reiterated time and again that he wants to start somewhere next season. And he's explained that Reid is fully aware of his stance on the matter.
On the other hand, Reid's public viewpoint certainly seems different now than it has been for much of the offseason when he's raved about the luxury of having two great quarterbacks at his disposal.
I've been saying for some time now that I think Kolb is going to be traded unless the NFL's labor issues prevent a deal from happening. For awhile, it was believed that no trades would be able to take place without a new CBA, but more recent reports indicate that player movement could possibly take place under 2010 rules.
Some things to keep in mind here. Number one, the Eagles are lucking out because there seems to be a great market for Kolb's services. Opinion around the league on top QB draft prospects like Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton seems to vary. And the class of potential QB free agents is weak. Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb could likely be had, but Kolb is a more attractive option than either of those guys.
Here are teams I think we can pretty much rule out as potential suitors for Kolb: the Giants, Cowboys, Packers, Bears, Lions, Bucs, Falcons, Saints, Rams, Colts, Texans, Patriots, Jets, Chiefs, Chargers, Steelers, Ravens.
Counting the Eagles, that's 18 teams.
Which leaves us with the following QB-needy franchises (in no particular order): the Redskins, Vikings, Panthers, 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Bengals, Broncos, Raiders, Jaguars, Titans.
Now, will all of those teams be interested in Kolb? No. But what if just two of them want him? What if even just one of them can see him as the face of their franchise going forward?
Then the Eagles get offered a deal they can't refuse, and a trade gets done. That's how I see it playing out.
The argument for holding on to Kolb is that Michael Vick will likely have trouble staying healthy for an entire season, and that's true. Earlier this offseason, I outlined how the next two years could provide the Eagles a good opportunity to get to the Super Bowl, if they improve defensively. But are they really going to turn down a potential first-round pick - perhaps a defensive player that could have an instant impact - because they want insurance with their backup quarterback? I dont' see it.
More likely, they'll deal Kolb and find a veteran backup for Vick. Remember, if they hold on to Kolb and let him walk at the end of next season, the Eagles get nothing in return.
Vic Carucci over at NFL.com recently wrote an article about the "Scott Mitchell Effect" and how teams can fall in love with backup quarterbacks that are relatively unknown commodities.
However, when looking at Kolb's numbers, it's important to judge them fairly. There have been six games in the past two seasons where Kolb has had a week of practice to prepare as the starter. He did so against the Chiefs and Saints in 2009.
And he did so against Green Bay, the 49ers, the Falcons and the Titans last season. I'm not counting the Cowboys game when he was surrounded by backups.
In those games, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,552 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions for a QB rating of 89.76.
Kolb is 26, and it's reasonable to assume that he could be a very good starting quarterback in the next couple of years if he gets the right coaching and is put in the right system.
The next date to keep an eye on is April 6. That's when the hearing will take place to determine whether the lockout is lifted. After that, the next key date is April 28, when the draft takes place.
If free agency or trades are allowed within the window in between those two dates, the Eagles will have big decisions to make in a relatively short amount of time.