Every year we always read about that one dumb move a team makes. Usually its a team overpaying a player (Redskins giving $100 million to Albert Hanesworth), or drafting a player too early and ultimately results in a bust (Jets drafting Vernon Gholston with the 6th pick), this year however it was a free agency trade that will be known years later as one of the biggest one sided trades in recent memory.
The Cardinals will be the ones years later as making a huge blunder in trading cornerback Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round draft pick for the unproven Eagles' Kevin Kolb. Since the retirement of Kurt Warner after the '09 season, the Cardinals lacked a proven passer and leader which led to 4 players under center (3 of which where rookies). The Cardinals ultimately finished last in the NFC West and a 5-11 record.
The Eagles who got extremely lucky with the Michael Vick project has dangled Kolb all off season and got the desperate Cardinals to bite. The Eagles will be receiving a proven consistent corner back in Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round draft pick, the Cardinals will be receiving a quarterback who has a career 73.2 QB rating and an 11-14 touchdown to interception ratio.
Now don't get me wrong, Kolb has a lot of potential and given the right coaching and pieces to work with can develop to be an above average player. But that's all he is, an above average quarterback at best. This is not a player you go all out for in a trade and then give a $63 million contract to, with $21 million guaranteed.
I can understand the Cardinals desperation for a quarterback, but giving up your best cornerback, a second round draft pick, and a $63 million contract is not the way to go. There were other quarterbacks available, consistent and proven quarterbacks. Denver's Kyle Orton is still on the trading block and will demand a lot less in return then Kolb. Orton last year also had an 87.5 QB rating, threw for over 3,500 yards, and had a 20-9 touchdown to interception ratio.
NFL.com's senior analyst Pat Kirwan even ranked Kyle Orton has the second best option at quarterback in free agency, ahead of Kevin Kolb. Kirwan proclaimed, "I like Orton in Washington, Minnesota and I even like him more in Arizona than the next guy on my list..." Kolb was ranked third.
Other quarterbacks available where Matt Hasselback, Vince Young, Brett Favre (yes there's always a chance), Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, Marc Bulger, Rex Grossman, Jake Delhomme, and Alex Smith.
The Cardinals also could have gone the route of developing some of the young quarterbacks they already have, yes many of them were inconsistent and had poor performances, but there were also some sparks of life from the young gunslingers. Fifth round draft pick John Skeleton for one went 2-3 as a starter but led them to a 43-13 rout of the Broncos, and led them to a late 4th quarter comeback over the Cowboys.
What do you think of the Cardinal's acquisation of Kolb? Who got the better deal? Who should have the Cardinals gone with instead? Leave a comment or message me on twitter @arigilberg.