The Eagles are going to use the franchise tag on Michael Vick. It means Vick will earn about 20 million in 2011 assuming there is a season and assuming there is still a franchise tag in the collective bargaining agreement. This, aside being great news for Vick’s creditors, is no surprise. The price seems steep for one season, but it gives the Eagles another year to look at Vick without making the commitment of a long term deal and even bigger signing bonus. It’s the least possible commitment, should we coin the term, “LPC”? It rules football. What is the absolute minimum we can do for a player? If this was baseball, Vick would have his long term deal (possibly from the highest bidder). Hell, if it was hockey, he’d have some ridiculous 14 year contract, but in the NFL it’s all about that LPC.
And, that is the same reason the Kevin Kolb trade rumors leading up to the draft will likely be pointless. The bulk of the money in the Eagles’ half-hearted extension for Kolb was doled out last year. For 2011, Kolb would be a bargain for a decent kicker, for a QB…he’s an absolute steal. The Eagles are under no obligation to give him more money and they are under no obligation to move him to give him a chance to start. The only thing they will do is shop him.
But, what does that mean, really? What do the Eagles think Kolb is worth vs. what would another team be willing to give up? I hate to say it, but the best thing Kolb has going for him is his low salary figure. Last year there was some mystery around Kolb’s game, his ceiling was high according to some. The work he did on the field this year I can’t imagine helped his cause too much. Kolb looks to be settling into the serviceable category. You could do worse than Kolb, but it’s hard not to think that ultimately he will be a dead end. Even if he did work out, his salary would balloon starting in 2012.
The Eagles will be perfectly happy to keep Kolb. An inexpensive backup who they know well? It’s a great situation for a team to be in. Because of that, the Birds will likely set the price obscenely high for Kolb (like they did last year), and it could very well kill the market. There’s a big difference between someone being “available” and someone being likely to be moved. Kolb is available. If some team went brain dead and offered a package centering on a number one pick, the Eagles might listen,but don’t expect a Don McNabb deal to push K-squared out of town. If Ed Wade was an NFL GM, he’d probably ship 2 first rounders to Philly without blinking an eye, but I doubt the Eagles are going to get that lucky.
So, I’m sure trading Kevin Kolb is going to be one of the top off-season stories for the Eagles. There will be rumors, there will be theories and arguments, but the guy is more than likely going to stick around. In fact, the only way I see the Eagles making a move is if they really think Kolb doesn’t have it, or of they really think Vick can be durable year after year. Neither of those sound plausible. The way my predictions have been going around here lately, Kolb will probably be dealt tomorrow, but in the meantime I’d ignore all Kolb trade stories until the word “traded” actually appears in a headline.