During the lockout, "Rumor Has It" was Kevin Kolb's(notes) theme song. The much-discussed backup to Michael Vick(notes) reportedly consumed the thoughts of front offices in Miami and Seattle, but Arizona, willing to sacrifice vital appendages to remedy their disastrous quarterback situation, emerged, as expected, the winner in the sweepstakes. Finally, the ridiculous Brett Favre-to-the-Cardinals whispers can suffer a horrible, violent death.
On Tuesday, the Cardinals officially acquired Kolb in exchange for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick. The Philly transplant also signed a five-year extension worth a max of $65.3 million with $21 million guaranteed. For the Cardinals' sake, he better be damn good.
Getting Kolb was a necessary move for 'Zona. Calling Derek Anderson's(notes) 2010 season a travesty would be too kind. Rookies John Skelton(notes) and Max Hall(notes) were equally unimpressive. Larry Fitzgerald(notes), the big winner in this deal — he is second only to Andre Johnson(notes) on my preseason WR board — desperately needed a competent passer. If the 'Zona front office had any hopes of resigning their cherished target — Fitz will be a free agent after the season — they had to appease him, no matter how steep the cost.
The fantasy community is largely split over how well Kolb will perform in the desert. His occasional inconsistency and lack of experience are concerns, but with quality weapons around him — Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts(notes) (With Steve Breaston(notes) now a Chief, he's a very, very interesting late-round lottery ticket. He caught 5 passes for 110 yards and a TD Week 16 vs. Dallas.) and rookie rusher Ryan Williams(notes) — there's lots to like about his new surroundings. However, because he's more comfortable in the pocket, protection is critical to his success. If his jersey remains stain-free, he could finish inside the QB top-12. If not, ADP comparables Sam Bradford(notes) (112.9), Joe Flacco(notes) (100.9) and Jay Cutler(notes) (112.0) will greatly outpace him.
Ken Wisenhunt has always wanted to lean on a strong ground game, but after the Warner years he realizes, with the proper personnel, infusing spread elements into the playbook maximizes scoring potential. If that ideology is reprised under Kolb, who possesses a quick release and plus accuracy, particularly on short throws, expect a smooth transition, though due to the extended lay-off a full grasp of the new system could take a few weeks. It's very possible sloppy performances will be the norm initially.
Still, Kolb has plenty of upside. Competition in the meek NFC West is about as intimidating as a cuddly lodge of otter pups. Recall holding the reigns for the Eagles in Weeks 5-7 last season, he completed 64.8 percent of his attempts for an average of 270 yards per game with a 5:3 TD:INT split. With the best receiving corps in the division, above average talent and given the Cards' suspect defense — pass attempts could be aplenty — the transformed backup could yield brilliant numbers at times.
Draft Kolb as a QB1 in deeper formats or QB2 in less-challenging leagues, and he just might be a statistical oasis.
Fearless Forecast (16 games): 232.6 yards per game, 24 passing touchdowns, 18 interceptions, 111 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
Ok fanatics, what are your thoughts on Kolb as a Cardinal? Is he starter-worthy material in 12-team leagues? What's your Fearless Forecast? Coming off a disappointing '10, how much does Fitzgerald's stock rise? Discuss below.
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