Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philly- Cincy Swap, More of the Same on Kolb

On Saturday the Eagles signed Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rashad Jeanty to a one-year deal. Though Jeanty sat out the 2010 season, this rehab could be what he needed to get back to full strength. Jeanty reportedly chose the Eagles because he felt Philly offers him the best chance of winning. That's not too shabby of an endorsement, coming from someone offered a spot on the red-hot Jets (I'll ignore that the Dolphins were even mentioned).

In a bit of a swap, Eagles quarterbacks coach Jim Urban was recruited by Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on Monday. Some have seen this as a sign that Cincinnati is a possible destination for Kevin Kolb, but it could also just be Marvin Lewis ensuring that he has a competent replacement if Jay Gruden doesn't work out.

Meanwhile, Eagles offensive tackle Winston Justice had minor knee surgery after it was determined that the more major surgery he was expecting was not needed.

In Kevin Kolb news, there has been a lot of talk that the Eagles will want several first round picks or a first round pick plus heavy extras for the quarterback. This is to be expected until the Eagles announce the status of the backup QB, but that is likely a long way off. Kolb has made it explicitly clear that he wants to be traded if he will not start in 2011 (something the franchise-tagging of Mike Vick all but precluded), but some think that Reid may be holding Kolb in reserve in case Vick gets injured during the season. I feel that this is an unnecessary move, if true. I agree with holding out for the best price for Kolb, however he is not necessary for the Eagles' success in 2011. With good trades, free agent signings and draft picks (some of the more likely ones I will showcase in the coming weeks), the Eagles could solidify their offensive line, and offer Vick the protection he got in the beginning of last season throughout 2011. Considering his first injury of 2010, while running for a touchdown, the idea that a good O-line would prevent a QB like Vick from getting hurt is foolish.

That being said, I think that the Eagles should spend the offseason developing Mike Kafka as a solid backup. After seeing his limited playing time in the 2010 preseason, I like him and his potential. I think the best thing to do is have Kolb work with Kafka, get him up to the level where he would be ready to step in, should Vick get injured, then get top-dollar for Kolb. This would have been far easier under the guidance of Jim Urban, a key to Vick's comeback and Philly's solid QB position as of late, but Urban's departure does not make the task impossible, just less convenient. Reid needs to begin developing Kafka now, before the imminent lockout occurs to give him direction to continue training independent of the team during the duration of the lockout. Until March 4th, everything from Mike Kafka to Nnamdi Asmougha to even the already-done franchising of Vick is very fluid and cannot be put into stone. Let's hope the mediation goes well, and try to keep Jerry Richardson as far away as possible.

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