Kevin Kolb, once thought to be the answer for the Cardinals' quarterback woes, was cut by Arizona today in a move that could impact the early part of the NFL Draft and make the dysfunctional Jets all the more jumbled.
The cutting of Kolb is certainly not the most significant single move in the NFL offseason. It is not even close.
However, the Cardinals’ loss of Kolb and the inability to land either Matt Cassel or Alex Smith makes their #7 overall pick an interesting possible destination for top quarterback Geno Smith. Following Smith’s strong performance at his Pro Day Thursday, the Cardinals could be all the more inclined to select the signal caller.
Additionally, Kolb’s departure could get the Jets interested in the jettisoned quarterback. The addition of Kolb would bring yet another competitor to attempt to supplant Mark Sanchez. New York has already signed for Jaguar and Dolphin, David Garrard.
The signal callers, all equally lacking in the ability to be a winning starter in the NFL, would increase the drama and decrease the competitiveness of the dysfunctional Jets who have struggled in free agency and in their handling of superstar Darrelle Revis.
Finally, the end of the Kolb era in Arizona may place additional doubt on the ability of teams to improve at the quarterback position through signing seemingly strong backups. At a time when both Kolb and Cassel failed, rookie quarterbacks have thrived. What remains to be seen is whether the appeal in landing young quarterbacks will cause an early run on the lackluster quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
At this point, I would give Geno Smith a late first round grade and E.J. Manuel a mid-late second round rating. Any other quarterback in the class ought not to be taken until the third round at the earliest. Teams like the Cardinals, however, may cause that early run.