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Cudders
07-28-2011, 12:51 AM
The Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kevin Kolb have been at the center of NFL discussion since the collective bargaining issue was settled on Monday. Football analysts and industry insiders believe an agreement is imminent between the trading partners, reporting that the clubs only need to iron out the final details of a deal. Before Arizona finalizes their blockbuster though, Cardinals general manager Rod Graves should hear me out. (Vain, I know.)

Arizona shouldnít pull the trigger and trade for Kevin Kolb.

For starters, Kolb is one of the most overpriced commodities to hit the market in quite some time. While coughing up value is the name of the game when it comes to acquiring someone at a premium position, I still canít remember a recent signal-caller receiving more unwarranted praise than Kolb. Kolb has been billed as a future star quarterback. A franchise-saving quarterback. Frankly, he hasnít shown enough for me to trust that projection. Not yet. Kolb has spent his entire career insulated in the passer-friendly confines of an Andy Reid offense with a plethora of explosive talent at his disposal. Even then, he was underwhelming for most of his tenure in Philadelphia and posted pedestrian performances against vanilla preseason defenses. The biggest factor Kolb has working for him is the Aaron Rodgers Effect. The prospect of a long-time backup taking the reins and leading his team to postseason success. If it were me, I wouldnít bet on that becoming an established trend. Especially considering Kolbís expensive price tag. But I wouldnít suggest that Arizona stand pat either.

I would push for the Cardinals to put franchise cornerstones Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, and Adrian Wilson on the trade block. Make their services available to the highest bidder.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Or is it?

Look, Arizona has been hit hard since their Super Bowl XLIII appearance. Since then, Kurt Warner has retired and appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Anquan Boldin flew the coop and found a home with the Ravens. Karlos Dansby took his talents to South Beach. Antrel Rolle landed in Big Blue. Even Antonio Smith bolted and signed with Houston. That was a big part of their nucleus. Now theyíre left with a core of Fitzgerald, Dockett, Wilson, rookie Patrick Peterson, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is rumored to be one of the centerpieces in the Kolb deal. Beyond that? The cupboard is noticeably bare.

Breaking it down, Dockett and Wilson are on the wrong side of thirty, but theyíre still salable because both are proven contributors at valuable positions. Fitzgerald is a different story entirely. Unlike Dockett and Wilson, Fitzgerald is entering his prime, not exiting it. But, unlike Dockett and Wilson, Fitzgerald could return a package of prime assets. A package that the Cardinals could leverage into a bright future. Sure, it can be tough to sell season ticket-holders on rebuilding. And even harder sending an elite performer and fan favorite elsewhere. But wide out is the most team-dependent position in football and Fitzgerald is a free agent after the 2011 season. He could leave for nothing if Kolb disappoints. Imagine the bidding war that would ensue over one of the NFLís top two receivers. Teams around the league would be lining up to get their hands on someone of that caliber. Think Redskins owner Dan Snyder wouldnít be interested? Think again. The man green-lighted two first-round picks for Chad Ochocinco in 2008. Who knows how far he would go to fetch Fitzgerald?

See, the Cardinals are at a crossroads. They can opt for the path of least resistance and follow through on the Kevin Kolb trade in front of them and appease fans in the process. Or they can take a step back and examine their situation with a critical eye and perhaps venture down a road thatís under construction.

Kevin Kolb might make Arizona just good enough to win an anemic NFC West once or twice. But division titles arenít the real prize. Championship rings are. And will Kevin Kolb ever be good enough to make the Cardinals a perennial Super Bowl contender?

If Arizona believes he will be, then file the paperwork. But I wouldnít bet on it.

The smartest thing to do is eject from the Kevin Kolb proceedings now and retain one-half of an incredibly promising pair of young corners. Then turn around and flip the franchiseís most attractive assets. Burn it down to build it up. Stockpile draft picks. Enter the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes. Target free agents that are part of a fresh long-term plan.

Who am I kidding though?

Kevin Kolb is going to be an Arizona Cardinal when the NFL kicks off in September.

And it will be a Graves mistake.

AntoinCD
07-28-2011, 12:56 AM
It makes some sense in theory, however Ken Wisenhunt is a guy who is firmly on the hot seat. No way he decides to start completely afresh. Trading for Kolb buys him maybe one extra year. It would be virtually impossible for him to sell the idea of gutting the team of its top stars to start new to the decision makers in the organisation.

fenikz
07-28-2011, 02:42 AM
you act like the Cardinals are old

Average starter on offense is 25.4(including Kolb & Colledge)
Average starter on defense is 27.1(if Haggans is a starter)

wordofi
07-28-2011, 10:00 PM
The Cardinals has a chance to draft a quarterback in the draft. Remember, there's a reason why they suck.

tjsunstein
07-29-2011, 04:01 AM
It doesn't sound ridiculous, it is ridiculous. Wasted my time reading it quite honestly because that is no way to look at a franchise and rebuild it.

PoopSandwich
07-29-2011, 10:03 AM
I love how everyone is so ******* positive that Kolb is gonna be terrible.

If I were the Cards I would be concerned that I don't have much else on offense, you have to remember the Cardinals were amazing because they had Fitz Boldin and Breaston, that doesn't exist any more. They also had a defense that had some very good young players that aren't part of the team any more.

They should be looking to bring another tall receiver in before FA ends.

Mr. Goosemahn
07-29-2011, 10:10 AM
I love how everyone is so ******* positive that Kolb is gonna be terrible.

If I were the Cards I would be concerned that I don't have much else on offense, you have to remember the Cardinals were amazing because they had Fitz Boldin and Breaston, that doesn't exist any more. They also had a defense that had some very good young players that aren't part of the team any more.

They should be looking to bring another tall receiver in before FA ends.

I think you found the reasoning as to why we all think he's not going to be the QB some think he'll become. Well, that and the fact that he hasn't proved a lot yet.

Remember, in Philadelphia he had great receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. He had a good RB in LeSean McCoy who could help him out with catching the ball as well. And he had an offensive line that is better than what Arizona has right now.

PoopSandwich
07-29-2011, 10:20 AM
I think you found the reasoning as to why we all think he's not going to be the QB some think he'll become. Well, that and the fact that he hasn't proved a lot yet.

Remember, in Philadelphia he had great receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. He had a good RB in LeSean McCoy who could help him out with catching the ball as well. And he had an offensive line that is better than what Arizona has right now.

Yeah but a lot of it is "Wow they traded for Kolb he ******* sucks!"

He really never had a legit chance to show everyone what he had and was constantly fighting injuries. I think he could be decent at least, and if he does end up being a great quarterback you cannot tell me a 2nd and a corner isn't worth it especially considering they just drafted Peterson, there will be more cornerbacks in free agency and the draft next year.

On the other hand, if he flops it will likely cost Wisenhunt his job and set the franchise back pretty bad.

wordofi
07-29-2011, 10:55 PM
you act like the Cardinals are old

Average starter on offense is 25.4(including Kolb & Colledge)
Average starter on defense is 27.1(if Haggans is a starter)

Gotta love your pettiness. All you can do is give me negative rep because you can't argue the fact that the Cardinals are a horribly run franchise. They've been to the playoffs only six times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, and they've won a total of five playoff games. They've only had ten winning seasons during that time frame.

There's a reason why teams like the Patriots and Colts are consistently at the top of the league each year. The Patriots won 14 playoff games in the last decade alone. The Colts won playoff games in the past decade.

The Cardinals are a 5 win team at best. Anybody besides fenikz disagree with me?

Cudders
07-30-2011, 12:23 AM
you act like the Cardinals are old

Average starter on offense is 25.4(including Kolb & Colledge)
Average starter on defense is 27.1(if Haggans is a starter)

Itís not so much an issue of youth for me. Thereís plenty of youth. Itís an issue of talent from an outsiderís perspective.

Since their Super Bowl appearance, thereís been a mass exodus of talent from Arizona. It isnít like this team is just missing one or two pieces. Itís fallen into disrepair and become a full-fledged reclamation project. Most of the core from that Super Bowl team either retired or went elsewhere because Bidwell refused to bust out his checkbook.

Both sides of the ball need an infusion of big-time talent. Nothing is left on offense besides Fitzgerald. On defense, the Cardinals have a few difference-makers, but theyíre either aging (Dockett and Wilson) or projections (Peterson). Retaining Rodgers-Cromartie would have at least given them a duo of high-ceiling corners to build around defensively.

Along those lines, itís getting harder and harder to acquire moldable talent for the 3-4. The select few teams that ran the 3-4 a handful of years ago used to have the advantage of mining the draftís later rounds for those miscasts and tweeners that fit their system. Those hidden gems. The surging spread of the three-man front has eliminated that advantage though. The NFL is oversaturated with 3-4 teams now and the talent pool coming out of college isnít large enough to fill the rising demand. True fits are getting pushed up draft boards and itís taking longer for front offices to assemble competitive 3-4 defenses. The solution to field one quicker? Stockpile picks. Lots of them. Not surrender valuable ones.

It doesn't sound ridiculous, it is ridiculous. Wasted my time reading it quite honestly because that is no way to look at a franchise and rebuild it.

Actually, it isnít ridiculous at all if you can open your eyes and look at the Cardinals critically. In fact, itís even logical and sensible given their circumstances. To rebuild is to make extensive changes throughout. Rebuilding isnít for the risk-averse.

Answer me this: Do you honestly believe the Cardinals can legitimately compete for a Super Bowl in the next three years?

No?

Then Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson are expendable.

Dockett and Wilson, while great players for Arizona, are already on the wrong side of thirty. Already on the downslope of their career. Their greatest value to your franchise now is intrinsically tied to what they can return to you on the open market. Since youíre not contending for the Lombardi soon, their talents are wasted on your team. Sure, they can absolutely produce for you in the short-term. Maybe steal a close win for you. Maybe even help you secure a playoff berth in the NFC West. But, in the long-term, Dockett and Wilson will be shells of themselves. And, mind you, the long-term is when you expect to become legitimate contenders. Why not jettison a couple veterans now for a package of players that can help you in the future? When youíre ready to make a serious run at the Lombardi.

And trading Fitzgerald might not be popular, but itís smart nonetheless.

A.) Fitzgerald is a free agent after this season. Meaning heís an unpredictable commodity in your portfolio. Youíre running the risk that he leaves for nothing by hanging onto him. Maybe Kolb disappoints and Fitzgerald decides that you arenít the right fit for him. Maybe you have a mildly successful season and you can concentrate all your efforts on bringing Fitzgerald back, but the feeling just isnít mutual. Maybe Fitzgerald canít imagine playing anywhere else but Arizona and decides to re-sign at a discounted price. The bottom-line is his future is a total unknown. This isnít someone thatís locked into a long-term deal. This is someone that is free to walk after this season. Free to walk from notoriously poor ownership and a potentially uncertain head coaching situation. But, for the sake of your argument, letís assume heís interested in staying with Arizona beyond 2011.

B.) Fitzgerald will be twenty-eight when the season kicks off. In three years, your target date for legitimately contending, he will be thirty-one. Heís exiting his prime as your rebuilding timeline reaches its conclusion. Will Fitzgerald still be a productive receiver? Perhaps even a borderline stud? Itís a distinct possibility. Because the traits that make Fitzgerald special donít regress as rapidly as pure speed does for a burner. But thereís a caveat to keeping him. Rebuilding efforts in the NFL are often jumpstarted by hording draft selections. Especially high picks. And Fitzgerald is the only asset on your roster that can command that kind of asking price. Look at what Jerry Jones relinquished for Roy Williams. Look at what Dan Snyder almost spent to get Ochocinco. Now imagine teams lunging over each other to land arguably the best receiver in the NFL, driving up Fitzgeraldís stock the whole time. You could receive quite the haul in a Fitzgerald blockbuster.

And C.) No great or historic team has ever built around a wide receiver. Not one. No matter how elite he might be. Itís because it is the most team-dependant position in football hands-down. Itís dependant on an offensive line that can keep the quarterback upright for the duration of the route. Itís dependant on a running game that demands the respect of a defense. Most of all, however, itís dependant on a competent quarterback that can get the ball to them effectively. That means pinpoint back-shoulder throws. Needling the rock through tight bracket coverage. Granted, Fitzgeraldís absurd catching radius compensates for some of that, but itís tough to ask him to make ridiculous circus catches regularly and he simply canít elevate every facet of an offense alone.

Outside of Fitzgerald, the Cardinals are hurting for offensive weapons, even losing slot dynamo Steve Breaston to the Chiefs in free agency. They need to completely retool. Having a stud receiver is a luxury. Having a well-rounded team is priceless. The returns from Fitzgerald, Dockett, and Wilson would provide the Cardinals the means to lay the foundation of such a roster.

Long-term success in the NFL is about sustainability and vision. Thatís what separates the consistent contenders and the perennial cellar-dwellers. Arizona might have enough firepower to push for an NFC West crown. But it's important to remember that the 49ers and Rams are ascending brands within their division.

bam bam
07-30-2011, 02:16 AM
oh my what an adorable thread title!!!