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Thursday, May 12, 2011
Chat wrap: Diving into quarterback debates

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The latest NFC West chat generated debate over how the Arizona Cardinals and other NFC West teams should value Kevin Kolb in a trade scenario relative to other quarterbacks, including rookies. A few highlights:
chris (mesa az): Hey, Mike, I was just wondering what's your take on a Cardinals-Eagles trade for Kevin Kolb? Do you really think he's worth a first-round pick and maybe a starter of ours? I just don't think he's done enough to show he's worth that much.

Mike Sando: It comes down to how much you value the quarterback situation itself, and how much you value the upgrade from the 2010 quarterback situation. The Cardinals were very bad at QB last season. Let's say Kolb is average to slightly above average. Let's say that is good enough to go from 5-11 last season to 8-8 or possibly 9-7 this season. Now, how much is that type of improvement worth? I agree with your general premise. There is no real evidence Kolb is worth a huge ransom. The Cardinals need to weigh other options, then decide what type of premium to pay for Kolb, should the price remain high.

Jeff (Tampa): The Rams got a lot (read: too much) of love for "surrounding Bradford with weapons" but it's classic misguided surface analysis. With Mark Clayton, Danny Amendola, Donnie Avery and Danario Alexander in place, the drafted three straight possession receivers, starting with tight end Lance Kendricks, followed by Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. It was overkill. Don't you think they should've/could've selected a complementary running back to Steven Jackson, plus gotten some more depth at offensive line and in the defensive front seven.

Mike Sando: I don't think we've gone overboard at all in saying the Rams have set up Sam Bradford with great weaponry. The very criticism you made -- that the team didn't really add players who will dramatically differentiate from what the team already had -- was part of the initial analysis. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. also had some concerns along those lines. Matt and I both understand the Rams' thinking. They could not realistically get a No. 1 wideout at No. 14, so they went defense early, then added quantity at receiver (counting Kendricks as a pass catcher) as they could. We need to see what the Rams have in store for free agency. Williamson thinks John Greco is vastly underrated and would do fine at guard if given a chance, by the way.

Taylor (CA): Mike, what type of offense does Darrell Bevell run and how is that having an impact on how the Seahawks are planning for the season? Again thank you for all you do Mike!!

Mike Sando: The first thing to understand is that this will be a collaboration on offense. Bevell is the coordinator, but Tom Cable is going to implement the running game. The team's overall offensive philosophy will reflect Carroll's desire to run the football. Bevell will install the passing game, which is quite similar to what the Seahawks ran previously under Mike Holmgren. That could make it easier to plug in Matt Hasselbeck for another season while continuing to build the roster. Kevin Kolb would also fit into the new offense well, I think, because of his background in Andy Reid's passing game.

Will (San Jose): Only one QB taken in the NFC West when there appeared to be three teams that needed one. Which direction do you like better: San Francisco taking Colin Kaepernick or Seattle and Arizona going after guys like Kevin Kolb and Josh Johnson in free agency?

Mike Sando: I liked the 49ers' approach best in the context of having a quarterback expert, if you will, as the head coach. In theory, the 49ers got the best of both worlds: an impact defensive player at No. 7, and a quarterback to groom a bit later. Now, there are questions about Aldon Smith's value, and it's premature to anoint Kaepernick as the answer. In theory, though, the 49ers' approach made sense. They did not have to give up a first-round choice for a quarterback with question marks. Kolb and Johnson, like Kaepernick, come with question marks.

The 49ers likely are not in the market for Kolb after drafting Kaepernick, but the answer I provided to Will from San Jose drew resistance from Mike in Arizona. The full chat transcript contains that portion of the discussion at the 1:55 p.m. ET mark.