Update: Right on schedule Jeff McLane has a team source say the report is “completely 100 percent false.” Again, this may not be true. But its going to hurt the Eagles’ trade leverage no matter what.
Update (2): GCobb fires back at critics — “Wasn’t it interesting that Kolb’s agent had no comment about the matter?”
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It’s all very vague, but GCobb has a source that says the Eagles have made an extension offer to Kevin Kolb, and offers some of his own analysis:
The Birds have been accused of a lot of things, but being bad businessmen isn’t one of them. They know they can get Kolb for less, if they work out a deal with him while they have McNabb and Vick on the roster.
They also know that they can pressure Kolb by telling him and his agent, that they would have to consider trading him if they couldn’t get him under contract for some “reasonable” numbers.
All of the above is certainly true. Right now, in terms of contracts, the Eagles have all the power. They can say, “Look over at the Phillies and how they handled Cliff Lee. If you’re looking for some ridiculous sum (in other words, anything higher than what we offer) then we’ll go with the other guy.”
But in order to keep Kolb, you’re going to have to pay him starter money. He might accept something below market value (whatever that is for a guy who’s only made two starts), but it still is going to be greater than what you pay a backup. And there’s no way he and McNabb will both be here next year at starter’s salaries.
Thus, the problem with even offering him a new contract is the Eagles have tipped their hand as to whom they want behind center next year. At the negotiating table with Kolb that might be ok, because you still hold all the cards. But what does your leverage look like when you talk with Buffalo or San Francisco or whoever comes calling next about McNabb?
I’m sure the Eagles will deny the report whether its true or not for that very reason. But its too late — the cat’s out of the bag. Every team now knows, or think they know, that McNabb can’t be back next year. Look for them to take advantage of that.