Friday, July 1, 2011

Softy: Seahawks Make Bid for Kolb

According to Dave "Softy" Mahler, the Seahawks have offered a first and third round pick for Kevin Kolb. These sorts of rumors happen all the time, but Softy hasn't struck me as being particularly sensationalist or rumor-mongering in the past. So, assuming they did make that offer, what does it mean?

"In all this green, I'm like a Kolb salad!"
Well, not a whole lot, really. It means that John Schneider and Pete Carroll are interested in finding their quarterback, be it through free agency, trade, or draft (though, uh, we've yet to see the latter...). Still, Kevin Kolb could be an excellent fit for what we think Pete, Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable are looking to do with the Seahawks. A scouting report, of sorts:

Strengths:
Decent size (6'3" 220) and good mobility for the WCO system... Kolb can throw on the move with accuracy, but also has good pocket presence... Has shown excellent leadership skills in the past when he took over his Houston team as a true freshman and helped put their football program back on the map... He put up insane college stats, but it was a weird system... His accuracy, mobility, and intelligence with the ball made him a pro prospect... He can create plays and improvise a la Favre or Rodgers, though obviously not on that level at this point... Since coming in the league, Kolb has been learning the ropes under Andy Reid, the best quarterback coach in the NFL, save for maybe his mentor Mike Holmgren... Kolb does not appear to shrink in big games, in fact, the two biggest games of his career were against the Falcons last year and the Saints the year prior.,,

Weaknesses:
Does not have great deep accuracy... Has had problems with interceptions in the NFL, posting a 7/7 TD/INT ratio last year... Lost his starting job after minor injury, albeit to a phenom in Michael Vick... I've seen a number of his passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, which is probably tied more to release point than height...

Fit:
Easily the most important thing to consider with Pete Carroll is a player's fit within his system. I think that Kolb fits... he is an accurate passer who is smart with the ball, has enough mobility to make a little out of nothing or a lot out of a little, and he doesn't appear to force things on the field. He can make every throw (not true of either Hasselbeck or Whitehurst) and is clearly very coachable based on his development into Andry Reid's WCO from the pure spread offense he played in college. It makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks brass to be interested in him.

But...
There are obviously questions: can he take care of the ball? Will he take the next step when named full time starter for a team? Did he lose confidence after being benched in 2010? (Worth noting is that he remained a great teammate by all accounts.) Any time a player is primarily upside, there is a large amount of risk involved in acquiring said player, especially when that means foregoing future draft picks on a team with major needs.

11 comments:

  1. 1st and 3rd seems steep. I could imagine them giving up this year's 25th pick and next year's 3rd but not next year's first. We haven't upgraded sufficiently yet to guarantee finishing above 7-9 again and could be in the running for a top-draw player next draft. I'd have thought a 2nd and 4th or 5th would be more realistic.

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  2. ... So as noted in my comment to your prior post on the Hasselbeck conundrum, clearly Matt is no longer a viable long term option to lead the team. The question then remains how does the team go about identifying and obtaining the man who will be that viable long term option? The options to do that are limited. You sign a free agent, you work a trade, you draft someone. Let's look at each option.

    Free Agents - Let's face it, these guys are free agents for a reason. With difference making quarterbacks being such a rare commodity is any team really going to let a difference maker elude their grasp. The fact of the matter is that most free agent QBs are going to be in roughly the same situation as Matt - they'll be stopgaps to your real long term solution. In that regard I would say that other things being roughly equal, the devil you know is better than the one you don't. In other words, in order for a FA stopgap QB to really be better than Matt he can't just be physically better than Matt, he has to be significantly better than Matt. Any FA's out there that are that much better physically than Matt? Not that I know of.

    Trade - This is obviously a viable way to get a successful QB because that's how we got Matt. Getting right to the meat of your post, could Kolb be a similar success? I think he definitely has the potential. He definitely seems to have the leadership ability to complement physical skills. Put him in a system that plays to his talents and I think you basically recreate the recipe that we had with Matt. I see two huge problems with a trade for Kolb though.

    If you're trading for a QB, it's really important to be able to "buy low" and that ship sailed long ago when it comes to Kolb. A first and a third? I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that. Compare that to the price that Holmgren paid for Hasselbeck - Moving back from 10 to 17 in the first (I seem to recall the 17th pick there being pretty decent) and swapping a third for a seventh. No matter how good you feel about trading for a guy, he's still an unknown quantity and as you point out Kolb has enough question marks that a first and a third just seems like too much value to give. Because of all the hype that has surrounded Kolb the Hawks would need to give value worthy of a known quantity for him, but they would still get an unknown - which leads to my next problem with trading for Kolb.

    If that deal gets done, then realistically Kolb has to be installed as the starter from day one. Yes I know that Pete will insist that he compete for the job, but come on, you don't give away a first and a third so a guy can hold a clipboard. When we traded for Matt, he didn't have to get on the field right away and I think that can only help a QB grow into the role he needs to fill for a team. I really think that if the Hawks are going to trade for a QB it's going to have to be someone who hasn't had their price driven up by buzz in order for the Hawks to get value back that matches the value they will have to give.

    So that leaves drafting. Again this isn't an ideal solution because so many things have to fall the right way in terms of what spot you land in and how other teams pick before you for you to get the guy you want. The advantage to the draft though is that I think the system is set up so that the team has the best chance to match up the value they give up (a single pick) for the value they acquire.

    Look, we're in a tough spot quarterback wise, there's no two ways about it. It won't be easy but I think we actually have a great combination leading the football side of things, and I think they will find the best option available. But if the best option available really is a first and a third for Kolb, then the spot is even tougher then I appreciate.

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  3. I will be so elated that free agency is back and underway, I don't think the trade would phase me. If thats the price for Kolb and this front office determines thats the best move; I'm all in.

    I want free agency, training camp and football. I want to watch our team next year and see them well underway with the new direction. I hope that new direction does not include a legacy QB in #8 or any other "was a good QB" FA in the league. I'm ready for change.

    ~GnarlyHawk

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  4. I don't think that a 1st & 3rd are terribly high for Kolb. You have to think we're not only trading with the Eagles, but against AZ right now. If Kolb plays well and we're getting the 2 time NFC player of the week QB, we go 9-7 or 10-6, our first rounder is in the late teens, early 20's at best. I'd do it. JS wants to build us up thru the draft, so if we go this route we're patching holes with Mr. Allen's $$$, but we can realistically win this division again and possibly stay on top for the next couple years. Take the chance and give us another Qwest (errrr, I mean Clink...gag) home game.

    And with respect to Glen's post...Hasselbeck did start right away after we traded for him. He performed so poorly though, that he lost his starting job to Trent Dilfer, and only regained it when Dilfer blew out his achilles against Dallas. Puts a little perspective on the whole "Charlie will never be a decent QB and we know this after 2 NFL starts" argument.

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  5. Clearly was offered before the draft and would have been an acceptable trade proposal(25th this year and 3rd rounder next year)... not too bad for a potential franchise QB. But this trade is almost gauranteed to not be on the table anymore.

    It would be cheaper and wiser to go after a C. Palmer. That way we have a bridge until we draft oour franchise QB in next years draft.. and there will be one to be had

    - Hawksfan

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  6. I think Whitehurst CAN make every throw and probably has a better deep-ball than Kolb does. That said, Kolb is a better QB and I don't mind the price if our FO is that high on him. He's at worst a slightly above-average starter with all the tools to fit our system, young enough, and has posted multiple 350+ yard passing days. Though the sample is small he has command of a fairly complex WCO in Philly and it should translate well to Seattle.

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  7. FWIW, I also agree with Hawksfan (above). I'd be fine with a cheaper (trade value-wise) Palmer and a shot at one of the prodigious QB prospects that will be available in next year's draft. I think Landry Jones and Barkley both have great ability should we be on the outside of the Luck sweepstakes.

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  8. I think we're possibly driving up the price that Arizona will pay. I say let's see what we have in clippy. Maybe pick up a cheap qb and a UDFA, our schedule is brutal at points and a franchise qb is in next years draft. I'm not advocating losing on purpose. MontanaMike.

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  9. First and a third for Kolb? How good of an idea that is depends on the terms of the deal. If the Hawks get lower draft picks in return, it might make sense.

    The Hawks didn't pull the trigger on any of this year's QB's because of how risky it might be to draft one. With a kid coming out of college, you never know if he'll be a bust, a great QB or just OK. You're risking a first round pick on him anyway.

    With Kolb, you're getting a guy that you've seen perform in the NFL, and he performed pretty well. If not for Michael Vick, he would probably not even be available.

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  10. This time in 2010 Kolb looked a prize catch, then Donovan Mcnabb reminded us all how fantastic the QB coaching is in Philly...and how hard it is to match it elsewhere

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  11. bregawn83 -

    Kolb is not 34 years old (he's just 26) and Seattle isn't completely devoid of offensive skill-players. Comparing a young QB on the rise to an aging veteran QB who is considerably past his prime isn't something that makes sense to me.

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