Making the NFC West rounds on a Sunday
March, 31, 2013
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Taking a spin around the NFC West on this fifth Sunday in March:
- Kolb to the Bills: Initial reports suggest former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb could earn as much as $13 million on a two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. Of course, a high school student could score as much as 1,600 on the SAT. We should expect Kolb to make less than $13 million. The signing upgrades the Bills' depth at quarterback, but this could simply be a case of moving around the furniture.
Since 2008, Kolb and former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick both averaged 5.8 yards per drop back. Both completed just under 60 percent of their passes. Their NFL passer ratings were similar (78.9 for Kolb, 78.0 for Fitzpatrick). Fitzpatrick was higher in Total QBR, 43.7 to 34.5. Current Bills quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has gone 9-11 as a starter over that period. Kolb was 9-12. Jackson was at 5.9 yards per drop back with an 82.5 passer rating and 38.9 QBR score.
Kolb was OK last season for the Cardinals, but I thought his 8-3 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions was misleading. His QBR scores were at a dismal 30.6 or lower in four of the five starts he made. Kolb had a passer rating higher than 84.0 just once in those five starts. He did a good job coming off the bench to beat Seattle in the opener. He was very good against Philadelphia. He threw a critical pick in the end zone to nearly blow the Miami game before recovering with a memorable touchdown pass on fourth down after Arizona's defense forced a turnover to give Kolb a shot at redemption.
- Clemons' tweets: Mike Freeman's recent column for CBS suggested a gay NFL player could soon make public his orientation. That led the Seattle Seahawks' Chris Clemons to question the player's motives, which led to this piece from the Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil covering some of the implications. Football has long brought together men with different and sometimes conflicting worldviews, focusing them on a common cause. This issue isn't likely to change that, in my view. The focus so far has been on current NFL players revealing themselves as gay. The time will come, too, when a gay player reveals his orientation before reaching the NFL. That will provide a revealing test case for NFL teams in the draft. Would they discriminate?
- Waiting on Flynn: Still no news on the Matt Flynn trade front. Nothing has happened to contradict reports suggesting the Seahawks would trade Flynn to the Oakland Raiders. However, there doesn't appear to be any reason for the Raiders to rush this process. There are no deadlines looming. There's not much more to talk about until we find out what Seattle is getting in return and what's happening with Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.
- Saffold outlook: The agent for St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold protested the team's interest in Jake Long during free agency. Rams coach Jeff Fisher revealed more recently that Saffold has not returned calls since the team signed Long to play left tackle, the position Saffold played previously. Odd. What could Saffold gain from resisting a move that made the team better on its offensive line? Saffold was back on Twitter Saturday for the first time since March 6 and appeared amused by what people were saying about him. An explanation would be welcome. Saffold, entering the final year of his rookie contract, can enhance his value through staying healthy and playing well -- regardless of where he lines up. Saffold has missed 13 games over the past two seasons after starting all 16 as a rookie in 2010.