Could Kevin Kolb be the New York Jets’ Week 1 starter? Signs and sources point to ‘Yes’

Now that the Arizona Cardinals have released quarterback Kevin Kolb, a move that was made official on Friday, one might wonder what's next for him. The departure from Arizona was no surprise -- Kolb was due a $2 million roster bonus on Saturday, and carried a $13.5 million cap number in 2013 as part of the onerous six-year, $63.5 million contract he signed in July of 2011. New head coach Bruce Arians and new general manager John Keim had no specific ties to Kolb, though Keim was in Arizona's front office when the deal was made, and Arians no doubt wanted like to move on from a hyper-expensive quarterback who  started just 14 games and thrown just 17 touchdowns in his two seasons with the team.

So ... where might Kolb go, and does he have a future as an NFL starter? Believe it or not, there's a lot of fire behind this smoke: Rumors that he could indeed compete for and win the starting job with the New York Jets have quite a bit of weight to them. New Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg filled that same position for Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007, when the Eagles selected Kolb in the second round out of Houston.

The decision to take Kolb, many say, was Mornhinweg's as much as anyone's, and Mornhinweg still holds a great affinity for Kolb.

The possibility was first broached by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News via Twitter on Thursday morning.

Mehta then went into further detail in an article, saying that Kolb would be a quick add to the Jets' roster at the right price.

When Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup and I got on the phone Thursday afternoon for a Shutdown Corner free agency podcast, Greg -- who knows Mornhinweg very well -- affirmed that Kolb to the Jets in a major role is a real possibility.

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"I'll tell you where he could end up, and only because I know this -- it would not surprise me to see him with the Jets," Cosell said. "Marty Mornhinweg has always been a big, big believer in Kevin Kolb. This might sound like a bold statement, but it's not -- barring injury, and barring Kolb just being horrendous, and we don't know where he stands after getting shellshocked in Arizona ... assuming he's the Kevin Kolb he was with the Eagles, he could win the starting quarterback job.

"Marty has always loved him. And when coaches love a guy, you know how that works. He's got no affinity for Mark Sanchez whatsoever. He's going to look at [Sanchez's] tape, and he's not necessarily going to like what he sees there."

Consider also that Reid, the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, did not wait for Kolb's seemingly inevitable release to add him to Kansas City's roster -- he traded with the San Francisco 49ers for Alex Smith, and signed former New Orleans Saints backup Chase Daniel to back Smith up.

The Jets had an unmitigated quarterback disaster in 2012, as Mark Sanchez played poorly -- but not poorly enough for Tim Tebow to get on the field. There were times when former seventh-round pick Greg McElroy looked like the best quarterback on the roster. Mornhinweg recently said that Sanchez has "a leg up" on the current competition at the position, and that competition now includes veteran David Garrard, who the Jets signed off the street on March 11.

It's not exactly manna from heaven for Jets fans tired of sub-par play from their quarterbacks, but Kevin Kolb could be on the way, and he could be starting in the near future.

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