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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Kolb Talk Helps Bills

I'm writing this under the assumption that the Buffalo Bills will not relinquish their third overall pick for the likes of Kevin Kolb, and that their second-round pick will be out-offered by another team.

Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb is this off-season's under-appreciated yet chic signal caller that is garnering plenty of interest around the league.

If the NFL teaches us anything, it's that for the most part championships are won by upper-echelon quarterbacks in the NFL. For every technically sound team out there that uses their defense to win the championship with the likes of Trent Dilfer, there are many examples of a team led by a high-level quarterback.

In the past 15 years, here are the 15 winning quarterbacks in order:

Brett Favre, John Elway, John Elway, Kurt Warner, Trent Dilfer, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers.

Out of that list, Dilfer and Johnson were the anomalies to the general winning formula. Eli Manning is also questionable, but was electric during that post-season so he gets a pass in my mind.

So with that in mind, the importance for a team to find that quarterback that can lead them to the promised land is as high as ever. And it just so happens that the Eagles are hitting the jackpot with Kolb requesting a trade this off-season, rather than any other.

The reason? No free agency, no trading of players for players, and 11 teams in need of a long-term solution at quarterback.

That's right, 11. Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Tennessee and Washington.

The price for Kolb, which would probably be a second or third round draft pick in most years, has now skyrocketed in to a first round pick. And the worst part is there is actually at least one taker.

So even if the Bills had an interest in acquiring the services of Kolb, it doesn't look likely unless the team is interested in trading a future first round pick.

2011 will probably be a better season than 2010, but odds are there won't be a playoff push for Buffalo next season. With that said, there's no way I'd trade 2012's first round pick in return for Kolb. It's too rich for my blood.

He’s demanding a starting job, and a high salary to go along with it. All that for 194 completions, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his short career thus far.

That was the beautiful part of drafting a quarterback this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick is more-than-capable of keeping the seat warm and keeping the team competitive next season. An immediate answer isn’t necessary with him.

But all the Kolb interest around the league -- as long as it's not just a ploy by Eagles head coach Andy Reid, which it could very well be -- could potentially help the Bills in the search for a long-term quarterback indirectly.

With Sports Illustrated's report that Reid has talked to one team that would be willing to give up that first round pick for Kolb, many speculate that it's Seattle. If so, that's great news.

The Seahawks are direct competitors with the Bills for the second tier of quarterbacks, should Buffalo choose to go defense in the first round.

The one player that I think Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey and Buffalo may have their eyes on for that second round pick is Florida State QB Christian Ponder. To me, Ponder looks like a great fit for Gailey's offense with a lot of upside now that his injury history checks out.

His skill-set is also an ideal fit for the Seattle Seahawks, as well. So if Pete Carroll's bunch is trying to rope in Kolb, that's great news for the Bills in their own quest for a quarterback.

Even if it's not Ponder the Bills are targeting, the message holds true. With the Eagles set to get a first round draft pick for Kolb, that pushes one more quarterback out of the first round.

Whether it be Ponder, Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, Colin Kaepernick or Andy Dalton, this Kolb news could guarantee the Bills have their pick of the litter of the second-tier quarterbacks.

Now, it’s just on them to get it right.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR

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