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 shipped Kolb to the Arizona Cards, ending Kolbs Eagles career after four years and just seven starts.
In exchange for Kolb, the Eagles received Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick. Kolb, who was signed at 1.392 million this year on the final year of his Eagles rookie deal, received a five-year extension worth somewhere in excess of 60 million with over 20 million in guaranteed money.
Kolb, who turns 27 next month, 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 Vick immediately began performing at an extremely high level in his place.
When head coach Andy Reid decided to stick with Vick even after Kolb was healthy and Vick responded with one of the finest seasons in franchise history, it was a given that the Eagles would ship Kolb once they could. Arizona emerged as Kolbs likely destination during the lockout, and although a couple other teams did get involved in trade talks, Arizona was the favorite all along.
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 Donovan 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).
After working for three years to become the Eagles starter, then losing the job after just 10 passes, Kolb maintained a terrific attitude once he was benched. He and Vick became good friends and supported each other in public and private. Both said their positive relationship made each of them better quarterbacks.
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.
The only other quarterback now on the roster is Mike Kafka, who didnt take a snap last year as a rookie fourth-round pick out of Northwestern.
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 email@example.com