As it turns out, the Cardinals, according to sources, have lost confidence in Kolb and are desperate to get Manning. If they don't get him, they can spend the offseason working with Kolb. If the Cards do get Manning, they would let Kolb go. They have to make a decision by March 17. That's when Kolb is scheduled to receive a $7 million roster bonus. Though getting Kolb cost them a second-round pick and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Cardinals wouldn't mind admitting it was a gamble that didn't work out if they could get Manning.
The part about losing confidence in Kolb stands out. There's a big difference between going after Manning solely because of Manning's credentials and going after him out of desperation to avoid another season with Kolb figuring prominently.
Clayton isn't saying the team would part with Kolb in the absence of Manning, but it's tough shelling out $7 million for a player an organization feels shaky about. Then again, going into a season with John Skelton and no safety net would be tough if the team feels as though there's any realistic chance Kolb will develop into the answer at quarterback.