Quarterback Kevin Kolb, now a member of the Buffalo Bills, addressed in part what happened at the end of his tenure with the Arizona Cardinals, which ended with his release before the team had to pay him a $2 million roster bonus. As players do, he tried not to point fingers or say anything too revealing, but some of his quotes, as noted by Bob McManaman on AZCentral, can cause one to think that the new coaching staff had it out for him, looking to get rid of him from the start.
"There was a lot of stuff behind the scenes," Kolb said of his final months with the Cardinals. "It was interesting how it all played out. But without going into too much detail, I wasn't totally shocked it happened.
"... But there was a bit of a surprise there when it happened, even though a lot of arrows pointed in that direction. There were certain things being said that I tried to believe but at the same time I was trying to cover all my bases as well. That's the best way to put it."
We know that Kolb wanted to stay. We know that team president Michael Bidwill wanted Kolb to work here. We know that there was a contract restructuring offer made, although how much discussion took place is not known.
We also know that things were made difficult for head coach Bruce Arians because league rules kept him from talking football with Kolb.
One thing that is also common is the fact that new head coaches in unstable quarterback situations typically want to bring in someone they choose.
So if we are left only with Arians looking at game tape without Kolb being able to explain what is on there, and with a player that has a track record of not making it through a whole season.
So, "stuff behind the scenes?" Yes, things happened behind closed doors. That always happens. No doubt Arians was leery about a quarterback he couldn't count on or even talk to.
Now, Kolb does admit to seeing the signs. He was due a lot of money and there was a new regime. But it also sounds like the team (probably Bidwill or Steve Keim) was trying to reassure him that the team wanted him. Bidwill did want him. In the end, they couldn't agree on the dollars and cents.
"Things being said" probably means the team said they wanted him. "Covering my bases" probably means that he didn't want to give up too much of the money that the team agreed to pay him. Basically, the team wanted him, but only at a certain price, and it probably was a substantial cut.
The the new coaching staff have it out for him? I doubt that. I don't think he was ever Arians' first pick to be the guy, and perhaps he knew that Kolb's skillset is not what was ideal. However, at the same time, Kolb is highly disappointed that things happened the way they did. He truly thought there was something special to be had here. I saw him and heard him say as much.
So while I don't exactly put this in the category of sour grapes, clearly there is disappointment and perhaps there were some mixed signals. In the end, it's probably better for all involved. Kolb gets another shot and the Cards and Arians get to go on with the guy they targeted specifically (Carson Palmer).
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