The Cardinals could get out of the rest of Kevin Kolb’s contract without incurring too much damage if they wanted to.
They don’t want to.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that the Cardinals plan to pay Kolb’s $7 million roster bonus and retain him for the 2012 season. The bonus was only guaranteed for injury, not skill.
Despite Kolb’s struggles, this news is no surprise. It’s a bigger surprise that we’re even having this discussion. It’s an equally big surprise Kolb looked no better than John Skelton during the 2011 season, creating a legitimate quarterback debate in the desert.
The Cardinals would have looked foolish to cut Kolb so quickly. They gave up a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to acquire Kolb.
Somers points out that Kolb could essentially be year-to-year in Arizona. His base salary jumps to $9 million in 2013. The team will have “only” paid Kolb $20 million of his “$63 million” contract if they cut him after next season.
It makes sense to keep Kolb for another year, if only because the Cardinals don’t have great other options. Skelton hasn’t proven he’s a franchise quarterback either.
Kolb needs to raise his level of play next year, however, or it wouldn’t make sense to keep him again for 2013.