There has been a lot of discussion during the offseason about the Eagles quarterback situation. In those discussions, it seems there are a few certainties. One is that Michael Vick will be the Eagles starting quarterback in 2011. He’s been given a franchise tender which he has signed, and it looks like the Eagles will look to negotiate a long-term deal when they can.
Another certainty appears to be that the team plans to trade Kevin Kolb. There are various trade rumors that could have the Eagles receiving a first-round trade and more in return for Kolb, although the team can’t receive any picks in the 2011 draft until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is formed.
The team could still trade Kolb if a new CBA isn’t agreed upon until after the 2011 draft, but they would then receive picks in the 2012 draft.
One thing that is uncertain is what the Eagles will do if they do indeed trade Kolb. With Vick’s style of play, there’s always a chance of injury. With that in mind, the Eagles need to make sure they have a serviceable backup in the case that they need to call upon someone.
Trading Kolb would immediately put Mike Kafka, the second-year player out of Northwestern, in the backup role. Kafka is very raw and is yet to play in an NFL game with any meaning.
The situation that seems most obvious would be to sign a veteran free agent to serve the backup role as the Eagles continue to develop Kafka. There will be plenty of possible suitors if the Eagles decide to go this way. However, like the situation with trading Kolb, the Eagles are unable to make a play for any free agent until a new CBA is put in place.
Although this seems a likely option for the Eagles, it appears there may be more to it then that. The Eagles have expressed interest in potential mid-round quarterbacks who will be available in the 2011 draft. Names the Eagles have been involved with include Tyrod Taylor, Pat Devlin, and Colin Kaepernick.
Drafting a quarterback for the second year in a row could mean a few different things. If there is no new CBA before the draft and the Eagles take a quarterback, it could be a confirmation that the Eagles fully intend on trading Kolb at some point.
It could also mean a number of things for Kafka. The Eagles could believe he’s a more serviceable backup then anyone they could get in free agency, or it could mean they’re looking to bring in a new quarterback to develop over Kafka. The latter seems more believable.
It seems hard to believe that the Eagles would be trustworthy of a player who has only been in the league for one year and hasn’t taken any regular season snaps.
My prediction is that the Eagles will indeed end up trading Kolb at some point, bring in a veteran quarterback to serve as the backup, and draft a quarterback late to compete with Kafka.