Tag:Kevin Kolb
Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:06 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 8:51 pm
 

Report: Vick signs 6-year, $100 million deal

Vick

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


Michael Vick: take your place alongside Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Not so much for the consistency you've provided or for the championships you've won. But for the amount of money you make.

The National Football Post's Andrew Brandt is reporting that Vick and the Eagles have agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract, and ESPN's Adam Schefter writes that the deal includes about $40 million of guaranteed money.

Vick's Second Life
His deal, if you look at it from an average salary per year aspect, is less than Manning (five years, $90 million, $54.5 million guaranteed), but it’s comparable to Brady (five years, $78.5 million, $48.5 million guaranteed).* At the very least, it’s in that same stratosphere.

*To contrast, Kevin Kolb, who was ejected from Philadelphia by Vick, went to the Cardinals and got a $63 million deal with a $20 million guarantee.

Which is amazing considering where Vick was at this time two years ago: in prison for dog fighting and with a future that was extremely uncertain.

Now, as CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman writes, Vick is that much closer to redemption. But it’s also a somewhat-curious decision by the Eagles, aside from the report that the new deal lowered Vick’s cap number by about $2 million (Vick had been playing under the franchise tag).

Obviously, Vick’s talent level and athleticism are second to none, but you have to wonder about two aspects of his game: 1) Is he brittle? Last year, he showed that, yes, he is injury-prone when he decides to tuck the ball and run. Vick has a tough time playing the way a quarterback should play when he’s scrambling (namely, sliding feet-first and getting the hell out of danger at the first sign of it). That's a concern. 2) Vick's detractors point to his trouble in reading NFL defenses. Which is not what you want to see if you're paying $100 million to your quarterback.

I guess the big question is whether Vick was worth this kind of money. At this point, it’s impossible to know, but if I had to guess, I’d lean toward "probably not." Remember, the Falcons gave Vick a $100 million deal in an earlier life. It didn’t work out so well for them. Vick's a different person now, but he's older too. One year of playing football in his post-prison life might not be enough to know whether Vick deserves this much money.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Wilson returns to practice, hopes to play Week 1

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been more than two weeks since Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson suffered a torn bicep muscle. At the time, the hope was that he'd be ready for the start of regular season on September 11.

For the first time since the August 6 injury, Wilson was in shoulder pads and a helmet, taking part in non-contact drills during Tuesday's practice.

"No, it's all good," Wilson said, according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers. "Just getting some rust off. We'll see where I'm at in September. Hopefully there are no setbacks. Everything is on the up and up."

The goal remains Week 1, now 18 days away.

"Training camp is such a grind, and whenever you have an injury, it kind of takes a toll on you," he said. "The guys are very excited, and I'm very excited as well."

And there's plenty to be excited about. Arizona appears to have found their replacement for Kurt Warner in Kevin Kolb (in related news, team released second-year quarterback Max Hall, who started three games for the Cards last season). They also locked wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald up for another eight years.

As for Wilson, he's clearly an integral part of Arizona's defense, but ESPN.com blogger Mike Sando makes a good point: assuming Wilson's back for the season opener against the Panthers, what happens the first time he tries to deflect a pass or make a tackle?

We've seen the effect injuries can have on safeties who make their living dishing out licks and disrupting the passing game. Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, two of the best safeties in NFL history, not only haven't been effective when on the field at less than full strength, they've been targeted by opposing offenses. We saw it most recently during the Steelers' 2011 postseason. The question then becomes whether the injured superstar is better than the No. 2 guy on the depth chart.

And in most cases, they are. Which is why we'll probably see Wilson to open the season.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 8:52 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 10:42 pm
 

Cards give Fitzgerald huge extension (VIDEO)

FitzgeraldPosted by Josh Katzowitz

You know that self-imposed deadline of Sept. 4 for Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals to get a contract extension done? Well, you can forget it. A new contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, has been completed.

And the figure is a mind-blowing number: eight years, $120 million with $50 million guaranteed.

Before the final figures were tallied, the Cardinals front office said it had no problem making Fitzgerald one of the highest-paid players in the league -- and the best-paid player in team history -- and to see him retire as a Cardinals player. Now, it seems like there's a pretty good chance they’ve done it (Fitzgerald will turn 28 at the end of this month).

"It's interesting," Fitzgerald said. "I told Mr. (Michael) Bidwell how much I hate this part of sports. This is the game I love. I'm so passionate about it. When you talk about the business side, it makes me uncomfortable. I'm really happy to put it behind us."

Fitzgerald's Rich Deal
And though we all assumed that Fitzgerald wouldn't want to sign a long-term deal unless the Cardinals made marked improvements in free agency last offseason, Fitzgerald said that wasn't the case.

"I'm not one to try to hold a hammer over anybody's head," said Fitzgerald, who already owns most of the team's receiving records (as well as the league's playoff receiving records, accumulated during the team's Super Bowl XLIII run). "This is Mr. Bidwell's team. He's going to do everything he can to make this organization go. The activity in free agency this year is something I haven't seen since I've been here. That's a sign of things to come. We're going to continue to be aggressive making this team better. I'm confident that's going to happen."

And considering Arizona already has given QB Kevin Kolb a $63 million deal (with $20 million guaranteed), the Cardinals are a team that has to feel confident that they’ll have a high-powered pass offense for years to come.

And in case you want to see the entire news conference from Saturday night, here it is.


Watch live streaming video from nflcardinals at livestream.com

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 8:58 pm
 

Fitzgerald wants new deal with Cards by Sept. 4

FitzgeraldPosted by Josh Katzowitz

We know Larry Fitzgerald is happy with the team’s latest additions (QB Kevin Kolb and TE Todd Heap) and with the fact that his contract forbids the Cardinals to franchise-tag him once his deal ends after this season.

Now, Fitzgerald would like to be really happy by Sept. 4.

That, according to SI.com, is the date of his self-imposed deadline to get done a long-term contract extension with the Cardinals -- the club with which Fitzgerald has stated that he wants to retire. Fitzgerald apparently wants six years added to his deal, but if the two sides can’t come to an agreement by the end of the preseason, Fitzgerald said he won’t negotiate with the team until after the regular season is complete.

Fitzgerald told SI that the two sides were closer to a deal than they were last week, and when asked how far the sides were from reaching an agreement, Fitzgerald said, “Not too far away.”

The Cardinals, I’m sure, would like to continue making Fitzgerald happy by getting a deal done before the deadline. If not, there’s a chance Fitzgerald is going to be really, really sad heading into the season.

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:59 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 6:07 am
 

Report: Fitzgerald's contract forbids tagging

FitzgeraldPosted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting tidbit in the contract of Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald was discovered by the sources of ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Basically, as Schefter reports, the Cardinals will not have the opportunity to place the franchise tag on Fitzgerald once his contract expires after this season.

Obviously, this is a very Fitzgerald-friendly clause, because assuming it could slap the tag on Fitzgerald, Arizona could keep him another season without having to sign him to a long-term deal (the caveat there is that the Cardinals would have to pay him the average of the top-five WRs in the league). That still would give the team plenty of leverage.

Most players hate this maneuver because it restricts their flexibility -- where they can play and how much they can play for. But somehow, Fitzgerald got it written into his four-year, $40 million contract that he signed in 2008 that the franchise tag is moot in his case.

The Cardinals and Fitzgerald are apparently working on a long-term deal, and with the addition of a few key free agents -- which, conveniently, you can check out in our Free Agent Tracker! -- it seems that Fitzgerald actually is interested in staying in Arizona long term.

Apparently, giving Fitzgerald some help at the TE spot (Todd Heap) and the QB spot (Kevin Kolb instead of, ugh, Derek Anderson) made him more willing to tie himself to Arizona for the future.

“Life is good. WWe have a QB, TE and I couldn’t be happier with the way this team is coming together” Fitzgerald told Xtra 910 AM earlier this month.

And luckily for Fitzgerald, it sounds like the Cardinals want to give him a ton of money.

"We want Larry to end his career as an Arizona Cardinal," GM Rod Graves told The Associated Press earlier this month, "and we are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in team history and one of the highest-paid players in the NFL."

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:41 am
 

Dockett on Kolb: 'It's like night and day'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Arizona Cardinals have been an active participant in free agency and for good reason: the 2010 starting quarterbacks included Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall, a group that combined for 10 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, a 51 percent completion rate and five wins.

So when offseason rumors about landing Eagles' backup Kevin Kolb became a reality shortly after the lockout ended, it came as a surprise to absolutely no one.

And in just a few days of practice, Kolb has has already made an impression on his teammates. Defensive tackle and alligator caretaker Darnell Dockett got right to the point.

"It's like night and day from last year," Dockett said, according to ESPN.com's Mike Sando. "I don't want to disrespect nobody, but I mean, he's good."

We suspect Anderson, Skelton and Hall wouldn't disagree.

"He's the leader, goes out there and gets the job done," Dockett said. "You can tell the last couple days when he wasn't practicing, he was just so anxious to get out here. That is what you want from a quarterback. You want a true leader that is going to get the ball there and lead the offense down the field, no matter what pressure -- just go ahead and get the job done."

It's early, but this is a huge deal. One of our concerns about any team trading for Kolb wasn't that he could be a legit NFL starter but that it would cost too much to find out. The Cards had to part with starting cornerback and former first-rounder Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a high-round draft pick, and give Kolb a $63 million deal (including $20 million in guarantees).

But maybe for head coach Ken Whisenhunt, no price was too steep after watching Arizona's offense last season.

"I have been impressed with how he has handled himself, his demeanor," Whisenhunt said. "I think he'll quickly adapt and get better as we go, and that is exciting. He has the right makeup mentally and physically to be successful."

You know what might help Kolb get better sooner? A new (old) pass-catching weapon. PFT.com points us to recent comments from former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner who, appearing on 620 KTAR, made the case for Arizona adding Randy Moss, who is quickly becoming the retired wide receiver equivalent to Brett Favre.

“I don’t think there’s any question he could help,” Warner said, via PFT. “I still think there’s something in the tank for Randy. . . . He has a great relationship with Larry Fitzgerald. That could be a huge plus coming to this organization. I think a deep threat is something that they need. They need somebody that can stretch the field. As good as Larry is, that’s not the player that he is.”

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Roundtable: Are the Eagles the Heat of the NFL?



Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Throughout the 2011 season we'll assemble our crew to discuss important NFL issues, Roundtable style. Though there are more pressing concerns for Philly right now, and though we've discussed this topic on the podcast, we want to know: Are the Eagles the NFL's version of the Miami Heat?


Will Brinson: The Philadelphia Eagles -- or, at least, Vince Young -- believe they're building the NFL's version of the Miami Heat. Obviously, this involves acquiring one of the top-five players at three-fifths of the starting positions on the roster? Oh wait, they didn't do that? Yeah, I don't think the analogy really works either.

That being said, I'm open to the idea that the Eagles are going out and turning themselves into villains while picking up all the biggest names in free agency. Or at least that they're putting a target squarely on their backs as we prepare for the 2011 season to start.

Josh Katzowitz: I find it awesome that it was Vince Young -- I mean, VINCE YOUNG!!! -- was the one who made the comparison. As if he's the key cog of that Dream Team that everybody in the league was trying to secure. I actually think Young gets a bad rap because of his attitude, because I think he's got talent and, most importantly, he's a proven winner. But in this case, he's the guy who's going to be holding the clipboard for Mike Vick. If this were the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, Young would be Christian Laettner. No, he'd be Christian Laettner's valet.   Anyway, I don't see the Eagles as the villains. Unlike the Heat, this wasn't some kind of conspiracy. It's not like Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins decided to join forces because they're such good friends. It's not like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie somehow orchestrated the Kevin Kolb trade. And no matter what you think about Nnamdi Asomugha's intentions, he didn't ask for a one-hour national TV special to announce his decision.    To me, the Eagles -- and Vince Young -- aren't the bad guys. They're just the guys who have pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and are trying to take down the pot with the best hand. Which, if the Eagles want to win a Super Bowl, is exactly what they needed to do.

Ryan Wilson: We talked about this on the Eye on Football podcast, but the Eagles can't be the NFL's version of the Miami Heat because if we're going down that road, the Jets have already done it. In the three offseasons Rex Ryan has been in New York he's yet to meet a player with more baggage than talent that he wouldn't acquire if he thought it meant more wins.  The Eagles have Nnamdi and, well, that's about it for big-name talent. Rodgers-Cromartie is a nice player, but the Cardinals traded him for a reason. Vince Young, as Josh points out (and to tie this back in to the Cards) is who we thought he was.  The Jets, meanwhile, have had LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie mosey through the organization since Rex's arrival. And whether you agree with the personnel philosophy, it's hard to argue with the results; the Jets have appeared in AFC Championship games twice in two years, and the 2011 team looks to be the best of the bunch. Plus, as Josh notes, it's hard to hate the Eagles because they haven't won anything. In fact, I half-expect them to falter under the weight of all the preseason expectations, and then all that will be left is to find a way to blame it on Donovan McNabb.

Katzowitz: Well, I think you can still not win a thing and yet be hated. Look at the Heat, for instance. I think the reason the Heat were hated so much is because it was clear LeBron James felt like he couldn't win the title on his own, so he was willing to join forces with his buddies (and take a back-seat role!) to try to buy his way to a ring. There's a big difference between that megalomaniac (and egotistical) approach and improving your team with what looks like pretty smart (though costly) acquisitions. Even with a convicted felon starting at QB, the Eagles aren't hateable. They're just a team trying to win a Super Bowl. Just not in the manner that James and company tried to employ.
Brinson: You can totally lose and be hated -- it's just easier to hate teams and people who win all the time, especially if the folks involved are especially hateable. That's what strikes me as odd about this Eagles team: there isn't anyone you can really hate. I mean, you can dislike VY, but can you really hate him? He's a 28-year-old quarterback who's already fighting his way along the comeback trail, having dealt with mental issues and repeated benchings for Kerry Collins. (That's not hate-worthy material; more like mocking sympathy or something.)

And is Nnamdi the equivalent of signing LeBron James? Um, no, and for several reasons. One, he's not even the best player in the NFL, even if he is the best at his position. And two, he's like a really nice, soft-spoken guy who takes kids to the Met when he's visiting New York City. That's the total opposite of generating money for the Boys & Girls Club by doing a one-hour ESPN special with Jim Gray.

Vick, I guess, is worthy of folks' scorn, but only if you're really, really adamant that anyone who ever harmed a dog deserves never to be given the liberties associated with the Constitution despite having served the required amount of jail time.

Or if you're a PETA member.

Wilson
: Here's the deal, at least in my mind: no, the Heat-Eagles comparison doesn't really work. And even though Philly is imminently likable (even lovable when you see Andy Reid on the sidelines) by fans outside the NFC East (and cat lovers), that will all change if they start winning consistently. Part of that is our fault -- if the Eagles jump out to a 10-0 start the media will be all over it, and fans won't have any choice but to hate them. That's how these things work. The Pats, Colts and Steelers are the most obvious examples, sort of the NFL equivalent of the Yankees and Red Sox. The Eagles are a long way from that level of hatred, but a nice winning streak and wall-to-wall media saturation can change that in a hurry. So in honor of T.O., former Philly wide receiver who really had a knack for getting people to loathe him, I will get my popcorn ready. Just in case.

Brinson: I'd agree with you except the just signed Ronnie Brown and, obviously, that put them over the top. Except not at all, but that's the narrative we'll be hearing the rest of the week I presume.

Vick will be a great litmus test for the symptoms that come with over-exposure to winning. There's absolutely no doubt that the Eagles will be shoved down the public's throat in 2011 -- I count a whopping five (!) national television appearances, and that doesn't include another five (!) that are all but guaranteed to be the CBS or FOX national games of the week.

People didn't hate getting too much of Vick last year because it was an out-of-nowhere comeback story for the ages that polarized the opinion of everyone watching -- either you didn't believe he deserved a second chance or you were thrilled to see redemption on a national stage. Plus it didn't hurt that he was single-handedly marching millions of people to fantasy football titles.

This season will be vastly different because there are expectations -- in both real and fantasy football -- and that always changes the way we perceive athletes. Fans of other teams who rooted for Vick's story won't be doing so this year and if he struggles at all, it won't be nearly as sweet.

Plus, NFL is all-in on the Eagles, so we will be seeing a lot of them even when there's not football being played -- they're the premiere team when it comes to updates, peak-ins, discussions and (duh) roundtables.  So in that sense maybe they are the Miami Heat, who somehow warranted their own section on many a sports website during the 2010 season.

Which means we've somehow come full circle on this analogy. At least until Mike Kafka's under center in Week 5.
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Posted on: July 31, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Heap to Arizona will help Kolb, Fitzgerald

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

HeapThe Cardinals haven’t been a big “throw it to the TE” squad lately, but after the team announced it had signed Ravens castoff Todd Heap to the mix, that most likely will change.

Heap, cut by Baltimore last week, inked a two-year deal, and though he’s the sixth TE in camp for Arizona, he immediately moves to the top of the depth chart.

Apparently, Heap -- who caught 40 passes for 599 yards and five touchdowns last season -- was visiting the Jets when he decided to take the offer from his hometown team. According to Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson, the contract is worth between $5 million and $6 million, and he immediately becomes a big-name target for new QB Kevin Kolb while helping alleviate some pressure off No. 1 WR Larry Fitzgerald.

It's a homecoming of sorts for Heap, who played in college at Arizona State and is from the Phoenix area.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com