Early returns favor splurging for Kevin Kolb

Ninety percent of the first 3,200 respondents to the Kevin Kolb poll posted Wednesday afternoon said the Arizona Cardinals or Seattle Seahawks should invest heavily in the Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback.

That is higher than I would have anticipated based on the anti-Kolb feedback I've heard regularly from those skeptical of his abilities.

"When looking over Kolb's record as a starter, one would be shocked that he gets so much hype," Zibrastripsftw wrote. "The guy has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and holds a career passer rating almost equal to Alex Smith's, and he has had more stability around him and has not changed coordinators every single year, like Smith has. He is the poster boy for overrated. Throw Kolb and Smith into a hat and pull a name. You will have as much success with one as you do with the other."

The stats tend to agree, but more than 60 percent of respondents thought Kolb would warrant one or two second-round selections in a trade. Another 29 percent thought Kolb would warrant even more, with nine percent predicting stardom for the player Philadelphia relegated to backup status once Michael Vick seized the job.

Perhaps we've got some hopeful Eagles fans skewing the numbers.

"As an Eagles fan, Kolb is better to me than any unproven quarterback or football player," NathanielTisdale wrote. "That's why he is projected to go for a first or two seconds. He has all the tools to be a NFL starter. He has games where he has thrown three touchdowns and had a 130-plus rating, and then there are games where he has thrown three interceptions and had a sub-50 rating. But the fact is, he has proven he can win in the NFL."

Fans of the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers would also have reason to encourage overspending.

Arizona does appear to be in prime position to make the move. The Cardinals' problems at quarterback were severe enough last season to make even an average quarterback appealing. Kolb might be better than average. He might be below average. Either way, Arizona would be upgrading the position.

The Cardinals, unlike the Seahawks, view themselves as closer to contending.

Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Adrian Wilson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have been to Pro Bowls recently. Steve Breaston, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Kerry Rhodes have been playmakers. The team expects big things in the return game and on defense from first-round pick Patrick Peterson. Running backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams were early draft choices recently.

Kolb would give Arizona a soon-to-be 27-year-old quarterback to build around, allowing second-year pro John Skelton to fall back into developmental mode.

I'd be inclined to give up less than a first-round choice for Kolb on the suspicion that the market might not be as strong as the Eagles would like other teams to believe, and amid questions about whether Kolb qualifies as a franchise quarterback. But if the Cardinals feel more strongly about Kolb's abilities, price isn't much of a concern. Franchise quarterbacks are too valuable to pass up.