PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals have released Kevin Kolb, ending the quarterback’s two injury-filled seasons with the team.
The team’s move on Friday came just ahead of the deadline for paying Kolb a $2 million roster bonus. The team paid Kolb some $20 million over two seasons after acquiring him in a trade that sent a second-round draft pick and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Philadelphia Eagles.
But Kolb was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play in his two seasons in Arizona.
Kolb was due to make $9 million this coming season. Earlier this week, Arizona signed free agent quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton was the backup last season at Indianapolis, where new coach Bruce Arians was interim head coach.
At his news conference announcing the firing of coach Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said “I’m not ready to give up on Kevin Kolb yet,” but the team wound up doing just that after bringing in Arians and elevating Steve Keim to the position of general manager.
Kolb appeared in 15 games in two seasons with Arizona, 14 as a starter.
Last season, he lost the starting job to John Skelton but came on in the opener after Skelton was hurt to direct the winning touchdown drive against Seattle. Arizona went on to a 4-0 start with Kolb at quarterback, but in Week 6 he tore cartilage from his ribs on a broken play and never played again. The Cardinals, meanwhile, lost 11 of their last 12 to finish 5-11, costing Whisenhunt his job and bringing in Arians to try to clean up the mess of what was the worst offense in the NFL.
There was no way Arizona was going to bring back Kolb with his big contract. The only possibility seemed to be a restructuring of the deal and there was no indication the team made a serious attempt to do so.
Instead, Arians and Keim went after Stanton, signing him to a three-year, $8.2 million deal with $3 million guaranteed. Skelton and Ryan Lindley remain on the Arizona roster. The team also has made a tender offer to Brian Hoyer, who was signed late last season and started the season finale against San Francisco.
The Cardinals probably will address the quarterback position in the draft, although not necessarily with their first-round pick, the No. 7 choice overall. They could opt for an offensive lineman with that selection and go after a quarterback in the second or third round.
Arizona had expected Kolb to be the franchise quarterback the team has sorely lacked following the retirement of Kurt Warner after the 2009 season.
After the trade at the end of the 2011 NFL lockout, Kolb signed a five-year, $63 million contract with $20 million guaranteed. But he had trouble adapting to Whisenhunt’s offense, Arizona got off to a 1-6 start and Kolb went down with a toe injury. Arizona regrouped and Kolb returned to lead the team to an overtime victory over Dallas, but he was sidelined with a concussion the following week and was lost for the season.
In his two seasons with Arizona, Kolb completed 58 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Sacks were a big problem, especially last season, when he was sacked 17 times in consecutive games, much of it to do with a struggling offensive line, but critics said the quarterback sometimes had a tendency to hold on to the ball too long, or take off from the pocket too soon when under duress.
Last season, Kolb completed just under 60 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and three interceptions but was sacked 27 times in six games.
|Minnesota||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Miami||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||12/8/13 3:05 PM|
|St. Louis||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Carolina||12/8/13 7:30 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|Philadelphia||51||3rd Qtr 12:00|
|Cleveland||33||2nd Qtr 4:11|
|Denver||27||2nd Qtr 5:46|
|Orlando||42||2nd Qtr 5:42|
|Golden State||8||1st Qtr 5:02|
|Oklahoma City||14||1st Qtr 4:28|
|LA Lakers||9:00 PM|
|Detroit||0||2nd Prd 8:24|
|San Jose||2||2nd Prd 9:13|
|Minnesota||0||2nd Prd 3:09|
|Anaheim||1||1st Prd 12:45|
|Loyola Marymount||39||2nd Half 10:23|
|Maine||38||2nd Half 15:29|
|Manhattan||39||2nd Half 19:17|
|Saint Peters||45||2nd Half 12:06|
|Siena||49||2nd Half 17:10|
|Arizona State||45||2nd Half 13:45|
|James Madison||52||2nd Half 11:49|
|Sam Houston St||42|
|Open Bible College||0||Postponed|
|Stephen F Austin|
|Carroll (MT)||8:05 PM|
|South Carolina||8:30 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|Bowling Green||7||1st Qtr 9:08|
|(16) Northern Ill||7|
|(15) UCF||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(18) Oklahoma||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(6) Oklahoma State|
|Marshall||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|Memphis||12/7/13 12:00 PM|
|(23) Texas||12/7/13 2:30 PM|
|(5) Missouri||12/7/13 3:00 PM|
|So Florida||12/7/13 6:30 PM|
|(7) Stanford||12/7/13 6:45 PM|
|(11) Arizona State|
|(20) Duke||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|Louisiana||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(2) Ohio State||12/7/13 7:17 PM|
|(10) Michigan State|
|Utah State||12/7/13 9:00 PM|
|(24) Fresno State|
|Princeton||57||2nd Half 9:06|
|Tennessee St||47||2nd Half 11:46|
|St Johns||31||2nd Half 13:27|
|Detroit||49||2nd Half 8:44|
|Manhattan||35||2nd Half 12:03|
|Longwood||37||2nd Half 11:12|
|Appalachian St||39||2nd Half|
|(5) Kentucky||44||2nd Half|
|No Dakota State||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Oregon State||9:00 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|