The Prophecy Comes True: Kolb to Arizona for Rodgers-Cromartie, Pick

The Prophecy Comes True: Kolb to Arizona for Rodgers-Cromartie, Pick

And it's over. After three years of living in Donovan McNabb's shadow, one off-season of being billed as the quarterback of the future, thirty actual minutes as the Eagles' starting signal caller, and many months of speculation about his future, the Kevin Kolb saga has ended in Philadelphia. The Birds predictably traded their top pick in the 2007 Draft to the Arizona Cardinals, where we hope he will not have a long and illustrious career of knocking his old team out of the playoffs.

In return for a franchise quarterback, the front office not only filled their most glaring need at cornerback by acquiring Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, they also scooped the Cards for a second round pick. All things considered, this seems like a pretty fair deal for a player who has started seven career games in four NFL seasons.

Even though it had been reported a bunch, particularly over the last week or so, it's still something of a surprise the Eagles wound up with Rodgers-Cromartie. Player-for-player trades are a relatively rare proposition for the NFL, often just wishful thinking during barstool conversations.

For that matter, the fact that the Cardinals were willing to part with DRC—a 25-year-old former first round pick with a Pro Bowl selection to his name—might set off some red flags. Sure, they used this year's first on Patrick Peterson, but now they are thin again at cornerback. The word is Rodgers-Cromartie did not have a very good 2010, so there may be some issues with consistency there.

Still, there is no denying the kid has all the talent in the world. In three seasons, DRC has already compiled 13 interceptions, four of which he returned for touchdowns. He also forced three fumbles during his all star '09 campaign, which is a decent total for a guy with a reputation as a poor tackler. Listed at 6'2", 182, he also has the size and ability to fill the need for a press corner opposite Asante Samuel.

As for Kolb, who was only a second rounder himself, he should step right in as Arizona's starter, and will be an immediate upgrade over Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and John Skelton. With Larry Fitzgerald on the outside, Kolb will be paired with one of the game's truly elite receivers, so the Cardinals should see some improvement right away, particularly in the weak NFC West.

While some will suggest it was a mistake to trade him, primarily over concerns about Mike Vick's durability, the situation sort of dictated the Eagles do this. Unless a long-term extension is reached with Vick before September 20, both quarterbacks would have become free agents in 2012, which means one of them would have been able to walk away without the team receiving anything as compensation.

Adam Caplan reports the Cardinals agreed to a five-year contract valued at a whopping $63 million, with $20 mil guaranteed.

We'll have more on this trade in the coming days, but now that the deal is finally done, how do you feel? It was nice to kill two birds with one stone, but would you have been happier with signing a different corner and getting more/better picks? Would you have preferred they held on to Kolb and got nothing at all one year from now? Or would you say, for once, this deal is jussst right?

Eagles-Steelers predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Steelers predictions by our (cough) experts

This isn't the Browns or the Bears.

This is a legitimate Super Bowl contender with an elite offense and a defense that will test Carson Wentz.

So how will the Eagles fare against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon? Our (cough) expert predictions on the Birds' Week 3 matchup.

Reuben Frank (2-0)
I think the Eagles will acquit themselves well. I think they’ll play a solid, competitive game against one of the NFL’s elite teams, and when the fourth quarter rolls around, they’ll be right there. I also think they’ll lose, but you didn’t think they were going 16-0, did you?

This is an intriguing test for the Eagles, who are sky high after wins over the Browns and Bears. But the Steelers have too much firepower for the Eagles to handle. And it’s not just Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, a Hall of Fame quarterback and all-pro receiver. Sammie Coates has only four catches but 153 yards. DeAngelo Williams leads the NFL in rushing. Five Steelers have at least one catch of 20 yards (the Eagles only have two guys with a 20-yard catch). And despite allowing almost 400 yards per game, the Steelers have given up just two touchdowns in wins over the Redskins and Bengals.

If the Eagles lose this one, they’re still a surprising 2-1 going into the bye with winnable games looming against the Lions and Redskins. If they win? They’re going to the freaking Super Bowl. But I just think they’re not quite ready for this challenge.

Steelers 24, Eagles 20

Dave Zangaro (2-0)
The Eagles are off to a great start, but I just don't see them pulling this one out.

Pittsburgh isn't just tougher than Cleveland and Chicago. The Steelers might be the best team in the NFL. They're dynamic on offense, even without Le'Veon Bell, and their defense should be something unlike Carson Wentz has seen in his first two games. 

I don't think it will be an absolute blowout and this is certainly a more intriguing game than it was a few weeks ago. But I just can't pick the Eagles in this one. 

Steelers 31, Eagles 24

Derrick Gunn (2-0)
Playing the Browns and Bears were the perfect warmups for the Eagles. Now, they'll face who many experts are picking to represent the AFC in this year's Super Bowl, the Steelers.

This is a team that is loaded on offense with future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger running the show. Antonio Brown is one of the most dangerous receivers in the game. Wide receiver Sammie Coates is averaging 38.3 yards per catch, and wideout Markus Wheaton, who missed the first two games with a shoulder injury, is expected to be available for this one. And they have 6-foot-7 tight end Jesse James.

DeAngelo Williams leads the league in rushing. The Steelers' defense is allowing 16 points per game, and will come after a young Carson Wentz, who's been brilliant in his first two outings.

Because the Steelers' D is giving up just 50.5 yards per game rushing, the Birds' offense may have to pass more than they want to. This is a tough matchup any way you look at it for the Eagles, especially with tight end Zach Ertz sitting this one out.

On any given Sunday anything can happen, but not this week.

Steelers 27, Eagles 17

Ray Didinger (2-0)
The Eagles have enjoyed success against the Steelers over the years, especially in Philadelphia. The last time the Steelers visited the Linc for a regular season game, the Eagles won a tough defensive battle, 14-6, with Brian Dawkins sealing the victory with a strip sack in the final minutes. In 1979, the Steelers were defending Super Bowl champs, but the Eagles upset them at the Vet, 17-14, when Franco Harris lost a fumble at the 1-yard line.
 
The Steelers haven't won a regular season game here since 1965. It is a good stat, but I'm not sure it has much relevance in this week's matchup. The Steelers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Ben Roethlisberger leads the NFL with six touchdown passes and running back DeAngelo Williams leads the league in rushing. Give the Eagles credit for winning their first two games and Carson Wentz is justly the talk of the league, but the Steelers are a huge step up in class from the Browns and Bears.
 
Steelers 24, Eagles 17

Andrew Kulp (2-0)
I can envision a way where this is a close game and the Eagles even win. It's not that far-fetched to think will continue to have success this week because Ben Roethlisberger is a different quarterback on the road, tossing five touchdowns to nine interceptions in six games last season. If they limit the Steelers' offense, Carson Wentz might be able to hit just enough big plays against the 31st-ranked secondary to pull off the upset.

As much as I believe that scenario is possible, it's difficult to pick a rookie quarterback over a Super Bowl contender. The Eagles will limit the Steelers' offense, but Wentz is going to see more complicated looks from the defense and maybe make some real mistakes for the first time. If I'm wrong, and Wentz performs the way he has the previous two weeks, there's a chance the end result is a victory — that's just awfully hard to predict.

Steelers 17, Eagles 16

Corey Seidman (2-0)
I foresee the Eagles have trouble covering Antonio Brown, who scores an early TD, before selling out against him and opening up running lanes for DeAngelo Williams.

Even if Carson Wentz leads the Eagles to points on their opening drive for a third straight game, I expect him to struggle unless the offensive line plays lights out (looking at you, Jason Kelce). 

Predicting Wentz throws his first interception and the Eagles lose to a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Steelers 27, Eagles 17

Andy Schwartz (1-1)
Well, guess I overestimated the Bears. 

But be thankful I did, because you know what happens when all of us pick the Eagles. 

They lose. 

Granted, we all picked the Eagles to beat Cleveland, but the Browns are so bad the rule doesn’t apply to them.

And the Bears don’t seem much better.

Not to take anything away from the Eagles’ victory. They won handily on the road on Monday Night Football and did so with a rookie quarterback making just his second career start. 

But still. The Bears were no benchmark for the Birds.

The Steelers, as Doug Pederson said, are.

And as much attention as we want to place on Carson Wentz, this game very well could come down to the Eagles’ defense, which as much as Wentz is responsible for their 2-0 record.

Ben Roethlisberger > Jay Cutler. Antonio Brown > Alshon Jeffery. D’Angelo Williams > Jeremy Langford. 

The Steelers are a Super Bowl contender. Right now they have the second-best odds in the league, behind the Patriots, who just trashed the Texans.

I’m on the Wentz Wagon. I like the Birds’ D. I’m just not ready to predict a W over the Steelers.

Steelers 30, Eagles 23

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