JimmyK from SB's Bleeding Green Nation has posted a very detailed, very informative fanpost about what it would take to trade for Kevin Kolb. After the jump I will share with you the parts that are related to our Vikings, as well as some fun tidbits that JimmK included in his post. If you would like to read the fanpost in its entirety, you can find it here.
There are 5 issues at play there:
1) First and foremost, there will be no trades until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. Per Adam Schefter:
"Until there is a new agreement, there will be no trades. Washington cannot trade Donovan McNabb or Albert Haynesworth; Denver cannot trade Kyle Orton; no trades of existing contracts will be permitted until a new agreement is signed -- whenever that is."
Schefter didn't mention Kevin Kolb, but yes, he means Kevin Kolb, too. So if the Eagles have any intention of exploring Kolb's value around the league, they'll need the new CBA to be done with a little more urgency than a McNabb 2 minute drill. From here on out, this entire acticle assumes a CBA deal gets done prior to the draft.
2) Should Kevin Kolb compete with Michael Vick for the starting job in camp? Nope. No further explanation is necessary.
3) Kolb's contract situation: Any team interested in Kolb should be mindful that Kolb is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Last year, that was a pesky wrinkle that made trading Donovan McNabb difficult, who was also in the final year of his contract. Since McNabb had no interest in being traded in the first place, he had some leverage in that he could make it clear to various suitors that he did not wish to sign a long term deal with their organizations. This severely hurt his trade value with those teams. However, Kolb's situation is much different. For one, Kolb wants to start, and has made it clear that if he can't start for the Eagles, he would like to be traded. Obviously, any team that would pony up a high draft pick to acquire Kolb would want to sign him long term. Since Kolb is only scheduled to make $1.392 million in 2011, he should also be eager to get a long term deal very soon. There's no real obstacle there.
4) Michael Vick's contract situation: Michael Vick is of course an unrestricted free agent. However, there's absolutely no way on Earth the Eagles will let him get away. They'll likely look to eventually get a longterm deal done soon, and they'll use the franchise tag on Vick while those talks continue.
5) Michael Vick's style of play: Anyone that watched Eagle football this year saw how many shots Michael Vick takes. That isn't going to change. Michael Vick is always going to look to make plays with his legs. That's what makes Michael Vick... Michael Vick. Conversely, opposing defenses are always going to try to hit him (and hit him hard) as much as they possibly can. These are all obvious statements. If Kevin Kolb were to stay in Philly for the 2011, he'd clearly be the best backup QB in the league. That's an awesome luxury. However, if he can provide real value in return via a trade, it's a luxury the Eagles will be willing to sacrifice should the right compensation present itself.
Do the Eagles have leverage in trade talks?
Absolutely. The Eagles can (and usually do) play the "We're not interested in trading (fill in the player)" game, to give the impression that you better come with a strong initial offer or we won't even begin discussing it. That strategy can fail miserably in the event teams around the league call your bluff and you're left with a player you have no use for because you overplayed your hand. However, in the Eagles' case, because of Michael Vick's penchant for taking too many big hits (as noted above), having the best backup QB in the NFL isn't a bad thing at all. He'd be unhappy in that role, but the Eagles aren't just going to hand him over to avoid having an unhappy player in the locker room, and Kevin Kolb doesn't strike me as the "team cancer" type.
Summary - Kevin Kolb has had 7 career NFL starts. He was absolutely fantastic in two of them (Chiefs, Falcons), as he took home NFL Offensive Player of the Week honors in both games. Let's not minimize that accomplishment. In fact, let's take a look at the math on that one. There are 32 NFL teams. There are 53 players on every NFL roster. Let's say for the sake of argument that 25 of those players on every 53-man roster play on the offensive side of the ball. 25 offensive players * 32 teams = 800 offensive players in the NFL. Kevin Kolb was voted the best player among those 800 offensive players in the league... twice... in his first five career starts, both wins of course. That is nothing to sneeze at.
He was bad in three starts (Packers, Titans, and Cowboys), 2 of those being "real losses," one sort of a "no decision" in what was essentially an exhibition game with the Eagles' JV team playing the Cowboys' varsity team.
Those 4 good-to-great starts, quite simply, are enough to intrigue other teams around the league. Being a great NFL QB takes time. A few outliers aside, it's extraordinarily rare to see QBs have immediate success at this level, and most of the greats experienced similar starts to Kolb's - some bad outings, with a few unmistakable flashes of great QB play mixed in. It remains to be seen if Kolb can become more consistent if given the opportunity to be a franchise QB, although I believe he will.
So what teams might be interested, and what compensation should the Eagles expect in return?
There are no shortage of NFL teams that desperately need a QB. Poor QB play in the NFL has become an epidemic, with almost half the league likely looking to improve that position this offseason. Here are a list of the teams I think could potentially have interest in trading for Kolb, and what I think the Eagles would receive in return if a deal got done. I think the rough value of Kolb is a mid-1, but obviously that can change depending on interested teams' draft positions.
(DISCLAIMER - I'm not suggesting the following teams should give up what I think the Eagles should get in return. I'm just saying that the Eagles shouldn't settle for less if they decide to pull the trigger). These teams are in order of likelihood to trade for Kolb, and as always, it only takes one to fall in love with the guy:
2) Vikings - He who shall not be named is gone (good riddance), and although Joe Webb had a nice game against Philly, let's not kid ourselves and call Webb an answer at QB. Here's another team that has a ton of pieces in place. Bigtime RB and a good defense. Kolb could be an excellent fit in Minnesota. What should the Eagles get in return if a deal got done? The Vikings' 1st round pick (12th overall). The Eagles LOVE drafting in the 12-20 range. They traded up to 15 in 2003 to take Jerome McDougle, they traded up to 16 in 2004 to take Shawn Andrews, they stayed put in the first round (a rarity for the Birds) at 14 in 2006 and took Brodrick Bunkley, and they traded up to 19 in 2009 to take Jeremy Maclin in 2009, and they traded up to 13 last year to take Brandon Graham. If they deal with the Vikings they'll absolutely demand that 12th overall pick. Maybe the Eagles will have to throw in a 3 or 4 with Kolb to get it done, but that 12th overall will be included.