Arizona Republic beat man and PFW correspondent Kent Somers is reporting that the Cardinals have agreed to pay QB Kevin Kolb a $7 million roster bonus that will keep him on the team for the foreseeable future. The deadline for Kolb to have received the bonus was Friday afternoon, and the Cardinals, considered to be a finalist in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, waited until the last minute to decide whether or not to retain Kolb, an injury-plagued disappointment in his first season with the team.
Kolb signed a five-year, $63 million contract after being acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick almost exactly one year ago. Kolb, who missed seven games because of a foot injury and concussions, won only twice in nine starts. When he did play, he often struggled operating a new offense.
Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt officially bowed out of the chase for Manning late Friday afternoon. "Regarding today's developments and our quarterback position, acquiring Peyton Manning is no longer an option for us," Whisenhunt said in a team release. "Since the end of last season we made it very clear that our plan was to head into 2012 with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, let the process play out and — like at every position — go with the quarterback who gives us the best chance to win.
"Obviously something very unique and unexpected presented itself. We've said it many times: if there's an opportunity to make our team better we'll explore it; we view the potential of adding a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback as one of those. The organization quickly put together an aggressive plan to go after it. We're proud of that and feel very strongly about what we have to offer as a team and as an organization. In the end it didn't work out but from our perspective it was very positive and we certainly don't have any regrets about it."
"We sit here today in the same spot we were heading into the offseason. That's with two experienced quarterbacks who have both demonstrated positive things in the past and who we feel good about. Like we said at the end of the season when we won seven of the last nine games, carrying the momentum of that strong finish into 2012 is important and that remains unchanged."
The way we see it
For Manning to have been a serious option in the desert, a deal with the four-time league MVP would have had to have been struck much sooner than later, with the Kolb roster-bonus deadline staring the Cardinals in the face.
With it now appearing that Manning will be landing elsewhere, Kolb figures to enter the offseason facing what could be extremely legitimate competition for the starting QB job from backup John Skelton, whose stock rose after winning six of the eight games in which he appeared last season. You have to wonder about Kolb's confidence level after the Cardinals made such a big push for Manning.