On Kolb to the Cardinals...

On Kolb to the Cardinals...

The nice thing about the new team pages is we can comment on stories we otherwise might not have in the past. This is one of those. (As it turns out, it made the main page after all.)

We actually did post about Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald, and how the Cards' front office supposedly solicited the star's input on their quarterback situation several months ago. Legend has it Fitz lobbied for Kevin Kolb and other veteran signal callers, though the report was later refuted in its entirety.

But wouldn't you know it, the draft came and went, and Arizona failed to address the canyon-sized hole they have under center. I mean, they didn't draft ANYBODY, and Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and John Skelton were their quarterbacks last year. That's quite the collection. Needless to say, if they weren't one of the prime candidates to trade for Kolb before, they certainly are now.

The latest bit of gossip comes from an Adam Schefter report on ESPN's NFL Live, where the newsman announced the Eagles' backup QB is destined for Arizona.

“Kevin Kolb is going to get dealt from Philadelphia, most likely going to be to the NFC West, and right now all signs point to Arizona.”

Schefter isn't exactly going out on a limb here--if the Cardinals aren't feeling desperate, they should be--but wow. All signs... that's, like, all of them. Or is it?

The Bulger Problem

The other name we keep hearing in Arizona, and the other allegedly mentioned by Fitzgerald, is former Rams QB Marc Bulger. Bulger finally washed out in '09 after years of injuries and playing on crappy teams. He wound up a backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore last season, his best days seemingly behind him.

Nonetheless, various reports are putting Bulger in Cardinal red via a verbal agreement, but that doesn't necessarily preclude them from the Kolb discussion.

At this point, the idea anybody would be relying on a 34 year old quarterback whose last and arguably only quality season was back in 2006 sounds absurd. Perhaps it's a sign of how hard up some teams are for passers, or maybe they are hoping Bulger can come in and be Kolb's backup next. It could be an emergency option too, in case they are unable to land Kolb for one reason or another. Whatever the case, Bulger as the planned starting quarterback on day one anywhere is more than a little hard to swallow.

Kolb for Peterson?

If this site had a Frequently Asked Questions section, "Why do the comments show up in reverse order?" would be followed by, "Will the Eagles exchange Kolb for Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft?" The theory is Arizona management selected the top incoming cornerback prospect with a wink toward Philly's front office.

First off, let's be clear that I don't think this would be a good swap for the Cardinals, and seriously doubt they really had that in mind. Kolb is clearly worth a first round pick, but fifth overall? That's steep, especially when it winds up being arguably the best prospect in the entire process. Essentially, it's one player who might be a franchise quarterback for one who might be a future Hall of Famer?

Whether you think you can justify that or not, it may not even be possible. Under the rules in the expired collective bargaining agreement, each team is allowed a "rookie salary pool," or cap, based on where their selections were made. Basically, if those rules were to remain in place after all this lockout drama ends, the Eagles won't have a high enough ceiling to get Peterson signed. Sam from Igglez Blitz goes into greater detail on the topic.

The other possibility we hear is the Cards sign Peterson, then complete the transaction with Philly. Really, you think Joe Banner or any team president would let another team negotiate with a player for them? I guess (and I'm not clear on whether that would comply with the rule either), but it might be time to admit Arizona was simply taking the best player on the board, and this particular trade would be a stretch to say the least.

Seattle still in the Cards, and all the rest

Notice Schefter did leave for the possibility Kolb could still wind up elsewhere, and did specify in the NFC West. Since San Francisco snagged their quarterback in the second round, and the Rams are married to Sam Bradford, that pretty much leaves the Seahawks.

Seattle is definitely a sensible landing spot for Kolb, as they have been trying to transition away from Matt Hasselbeck. Some people might point out they were burned swapping seconds and sending a third rounder to San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst last year, and that may very well be the case, but it wasn't necessarily a large enough investment to block a move for another quarterback.

In all honesty though, they may not be the only club remaining that can get involved. Most notably, the Dolphins did not replace Chad Henne as many thought they would. However, they have been tied to Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer. The Bills are weak under center, but may not be the most likely players due to the fact they are a perpetually rebuilding, small market franchise. And again, there are the Redskins, but I'm not sure the Birds would be as quick to send a young quarterback to the division rival.

So looking at the list of potential suitors, Arizona and Seattle still appear to be the most likely. It could also be some of the other teams haven't jumped into the fray simply because they are waiting for the lockout to end.

Whatever is really going on behind the scenes, we are hearing one team already has a 2012 first rounder on the table for Kolb. Andy Reid is naturally denying, but smoke equals fire. The Cardinals need a quarterback in the worst possible way, and the Eagles need to part with a quarterback in the worst possible way. It may be only a matter of time now.

Best of NFL: Redskins notch 1st win vs. Giants; Cowboys rout Bears

Best of NFL: Redskins notch 1st win vs. Giants; Cowboys rout Bears

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.  -- Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter for his fifth of the game and the Washington Redskins avoid a near-disastrous 0-3 start with a 29-27 win over the penalty- and error-prone New York Giants on Sunday.

Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes of 44 yards to DeSean Jackson and 55 to Jamison Crowder as the banged-up Redskins (1-2) handed new coach Ben McAdoo his first loss with the Giants (2-1).

Su'a Cravens ended the Giants' final drive with an interception in New York territory. It was Eli Manning's second pick of the quarter, with the other coming in the end zone by Quinton Dunbar after New York got to the Redskins 15 on a big play by Odell Beckham Jr.

This was a wild NFC East matchup that see-sawed the entire second half after Washington rallied from a 21-9 deficit (see full recap).

Prescott, Cowboys rout Bears on SNF
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox (see full recap).

Vikings stop Newton, snap Panthers' home win streak
CHARLOTTE, N.C.  -- The Minnesota Vikings keep finding ways to overcome injuries --and keep finding ways to win football games.

Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph, Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a score and the Vikings snapped the Carolina Panthers' 14-game home winning streak 22-10 on Sunday.

The Vikings put the clamps on Cam Newton, intercepting the league's reigning MVP three times and getting eight sacks, one of those resulting in a safety by Danielle Hunter. The eight sacks were the second-most ever against Newton.

"We have a great team -- the best team I have been a part of," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who had three sacks. "We come from every area on the field and we get sacks."

Said Newton: "They were dictating to us after they got the momentum."

The Vikings improved 3-0 despite losing running back Adrian Peterson and offensive tackle Matt Kalil to injuries last week. They lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason (see full recap).

Bills bounce back with win over Cardinals
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.  -- LeSean McCoy scored twice and safety Aaron Williams returned a botched field-goal snap 53 yards for a touchdown in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 33-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 20-yard run at a time the Rex Ryan-coached Bills spent the past week taking the brunt of criticism after opening the season 0-2.

The win also came on the heels of Ryan firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman and replacing him with running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

McCoy scored on 24- and 5-yard runs, and finished with 110 yards rushing after combining for just 117 in his first two games. Taylor had 76 yards rushing, including a 49-yarder, the longest by a quarterback in team history (see full recap).

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Doug Pederson: For the Eagles, 'this was a good benchmark'

Doug Pederson: For the Eagles, 'this was a good benchmark'

On his way to the locker room following his team's stunning 34-3 victory over the Steelers, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reacted, well, like you probably did.

Pederson had to be surprised by what had just transpired. After all, this wasn't the Browns or the Bears. This was the Steelers, who entered the game with the second-best odds behind New England, per Bovada, of winning the Super Bowl (the Patriots were first). 

And the Eagles didn't just beat them. They clobbered them.

But minutes later, when Pederson met the media for his postgame press conference, he tried his best to act like it was no big thing.

“I told the team way back in OTAs that it just takes a little bit of belief," Pederson said. "Belief in themselves. Trust the process. Believe in the coaches and the coaches believe in one another. That’s what they did tonight. 

"Am I surprised? A little. But at the same time, I know that locker room, I know those guys and I know what they are building. By no means have we accomplished anything yet. The season is still extremely young. But what they did tonight just proves that they are coming together as a football team.”

Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Doug. It's OK to be surprised. Scratch that. Make that stunned. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. But now? Forget that. 

At least for the next two weeks. The Eagles are on their bye week and don't play again until Oct. 9 at Detroit. 

“It is still a young season, only three games. This was a good benchmark," Pederson said. "That’s a good football team, the Steelers are a great football team. They are going to be there at the end, they always are. Coach (Mike) Tomlin always has those guys ready to play. 

"But for our guys, it is just a little glimpse of that belief that I have been saying since the spring and summer. If they just do their jobs, I just feel that good things can happen. We just protect each other in that dressing room in there and keep coming to work everyday.”

Pederson is the only head coach in team history to win each of his first three games. It's only the ninth time the Eagles have started 3-0.

And of course, a big reason they've done so is their prodigy quarterback Carson Wentz, who became only the second rookie in team history to record a 300-yard passing game (Nick Foles is the other).

More impressively, Wentz now has attempted 102 straight passes without an interception, the longest streak ever begin an NFL career (per ESPN). Dallas'  Dak Prescott is at 99 after the Cowboys beat up the Bears.

But don't ask Pederson to admit he's amazed by Wentz or the fact he had the presence of mind to make plays like the riveting 73-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles (much more on that here).

“You know, you just put on his college film. Just watch him," Pederson said. "We exhausted his college tape and those were the plays that he made at North Dakota State. That play tonight was just a tremendous play by both he and Darren Sproles. Those are the types of things that we know he can do. He just keeps gaining confidence every single week.”

As does the defense, which kept one of the league's most potent offenses out of the end zone

"They just weren’t going to be denied," Pederson said. "They just weren’t going to bow their necks. They weren’t going to let them in the endzone. It just came down to our will versus theirs and I was just so happy with the way the guys played. Just a great team effort.”