How much will Kolb entice quarterback-needy teams?
Despite some of the problems Michael Vick has had this season, it's been mostly a year of spectacular play and a lot of success both individually and for the team. Smart money says he is back for the 2011 season and beyond with a contract extension this offseason.
But for Kevin Kolb, this season has been filled with a lot of doubt and unrest. He started the season off poorly and was replaced, but filled in for an injured Vick by beating the Atlanta Falcons -- the team that will clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs -- and re-ignited interest in a guy who some believe has the makings of a franchise quarterback.
Now after a loss to the Minnesota Vikings has made the Eagles-Cowboys Week 17 matchup meaningless for both teams, Kolb will get a chance to start as Vick rests up and prepares for next weekend's home playoff game against either the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, or perhaps even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But starting Kolb does more than give Vick a chance to rest up. With the Eagles still holding Kolb's rights for one more season, they will surely be looking to take the highest offer available for the former second-round pick.
Giving him a start in the final week of the season against a shaky secondary with nothing to lose could mean a big day for him individually and give the Eagles just a bit more to throw at teams when negotiating compensation.
With that in mind, don't expect Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg to come out, run the ball, and just head into the postseason. These guys are always looking for an excuse to pass, and Kolb at the helm justifies a gameplan that will include 60 percent passing plays.
Expect Kolb to finish with around 30 passing attempts (likely more) and, if things go as planned, over 300 yards and a couple touchdowns. Of course, those numbers could be difficult to reach if DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are riding the pine with Vick for most of the game, so don't be surprised to see those guys play more than half the game.
Kolb will likely be a starter somewhere next year, so there isn't a ton on the line for him. But for the Eagles, they must make sure they can squeeze out every bit of compensation for Kolb that they can, and I expect them to start by making him look like a franchise quarterback against the Cowboys in this meaningless finale.
The only question left is whether or not the team that trades for Kolb will actually be getting the franchise quarterback they'll likely see against Dallas.