Less than 16 months after they traded Donovan McNabb to the Redskins to make Kevin Kolb their quarterback of the future, the Eagles on Thursday finalized their long-awaited blockbuster Kevin Kolb trade, ending Kolbs Eagles career after four years and just seven starts.
Kolb, who was entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, received a five-year extension worth 63 million with about 21.5 million in guaranteed money. The last two years of his deal with the Eagles were worth 12.26 million guaranteed.
Kolb, who turns 27 next month, has won just three of seven starts in his four-year career. Rodgers-Cromartie, who turned 25 in April, was a Pro Bowl pick in 2009 (more on him here).
Hes very well deserving of this opportunity, head coach Andy Reid said after the Eagles afternoon training camp practice at Lehigh University. Hes got a great head coach thats got an offensive mind (Ken Whisenhunt) and a pretty good wide receiver (Larry Fitzgerald), whos one of the best in the business, so hes in a good position there with good players around him.
I know hell do a great job, and Im pulling for him, because hes so deserving of it. Hes that good. Hes that good where he can do this.
The trade was engineered by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who also unloaded McNabb to the Redskins last year.
In exchange for two quarterbacks who werent going to play here, the Eagles got an all-rookie safety, a Pro Bowl cornerback, a likely linebacker contributor in Casey Matthews and second- and fourth-round picks in 2012.
We think the world of Kevin Kolb, Roseman said. This is really a win-win for both teams. Arizona is getting a quarterback in Kevin Kolb that is going to be a heck of a player for them. We feel very strongly about Kevin Kolb. This was a great opportunity for both sides to improve their own teams.
Kolb went 3-4 in seven starts with the Eagles, but passed for 300 yards three times and was twice named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. But his fate was sealed only one half into his first opening-day start, when he suffered a concussion just before halftime against the Packers and Michael Vick immediately began performing at an extremely high level in his place.
Once Reid decided to stick with Vick, Kolbs fate was sealed. The only drama was where the Eagles would trade him, and during the final weeks of the lockout, Arizona emerged as his likely destination.
His hard work rewards this football team, because by him leaving we were able to get first-round compensation and a second-round pick, Reid said. That tells you that other people believed he was a good football player. When hes had opportunities, hes done a good job. ... His work ethic is phenomenal.
The Cards have been looking for a quarterback since likely Hall of Famer Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season. They released 2010 starter Derek Anderson earlier this week and have only Max Hall, John Skelton and Rich Bartel on the roster at the quarterback position.
Kolb, a second-round pick out of Houston in 2007, became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first two NFL starts, a loss to the Saints and a win over the Chiefs, while McNabb was hurt in 2009. Kolb also had a 326-yard game against the Falcons last year.
Even though he only started seven games as an Eagle, Kolb ranks sixth in Eagles history with three 300-yard games, behind only McNabb (27), Randall Cunningham (12), Ron Jaworski (12), Sonny Jurgensen (10) and Norm Snead (eight).
But despite several brilliant games, Kolbs overall numbers as an Eagle werent overwhelming.
He completed 61 percent of his passes in an Eagles uniform, with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for a 73.2 passer rating. In three starts last year while Vick was out with a rib injury, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 810 yards with five TDs and three INTs.
Kolbs 61 percent completion percentage is second-highest in Eagles history among quarterbacks whove thrown at least 200 passes. He trails only Vick (62.1 percent) and is just ahead of Bubby Brister (60.3 percent).
Vick, who turned 31 last month, ranked fourth in the NFL in passer rating (100.2) and won eight of 11 regular-season starts last year in his first season as a starter since 2006 with the Falcons. Vick last fall threw 21 touchdowns and six interceptions and rushed for 676 yards and nine more touchdowns.
Kafka, who turned 24 on Monday, is expected to remain the Eagles No. 3 quarterback this year. The Eagles will likely dip into free agency to find Vicks backup.
E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org
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