When the Philadelphia Eagles traded veteran QB Donovan McNabb to the
Washington Redskins earlier this month, they made the decision that fourth-year
QB Kevin Kolb was ready to be their starter.
As Scout.com first noted back during Senior Bowl week in January, there was strong talk in league circles that the team would look to move McNabb because they were ready to turn the page to the younger signal caller for 2010 and beyond.
On Thursday afternoon, the team emphasized that point even more by extending the former University of Houston star's contract. However, without a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and owners, and due to the complexities of the "30 percent rule", Kolb's contract was extended for just one season, but the deal includes $12.257 million in guaranteed money, league sources told Scout.com.
"We're happy to have Kevin under contract for the next two seasons," said head coach Andy Reid. "When given the chance, Kevin has proven to have good command of this offense and we're looking forward to having him operate as the number one quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles."
The 30 percent rule restricts base salary growth for more than 30 percent from year to year for renegotiated contracts completed during an uncapped year. Option and roster bonuses are prohibited within the 30 percent rule, so it's very difficult to renegotiate deals with years left. The remaining option to get Kolb's contract up to speed with the rest of the top starters in the NFL was to give him a large signing bonus. Signing bonuses are excluded from the 30 percent rule. The guaranteed money in the extension, as expected, comes in the form of a $10.7 million signing bonus. The team also gave him the maximum raises allowable within the 30 percent rule for 2010 (from $550,000 to $715,000) and 2011 for his base salaries. The two years of base salaries are also guaranteed.
Once the 25-year old quarterback was moved to the top of the depth chart back on April 4, he actually became the lowest paid starter at his position in the NFL. That's not the case any more. In fact, he technically will be paid more on an average per year basis than Tom Brady ($12.132 million) and---McNabb ($12.1 million).
When McNabb was injured in the season opener last year at the Carolina Panthers, Kolb stepped into the starting lineup and became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in his first two NFL starts. He threw for 391 yards vs. New Orleans on 9/20/08 and 327 yards a week later vs. Kansas City. In fact, the 25-year-old Kolb earned NFC Offensive player of the week honors for his performance against the Chiefs.
"We're excited about what we've seen from Kevin during his three seasons in Philadelphia both on and off the field. We're happy to get this contract in place for the near future and are looking forward to keeping Kevin in Philadelphia for many more years to come," said general manager Howie Roseman.
Kolb was selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Eagles.
"I'd like to thank Kevin and his agent Jeff Nalley for their work in getting this contract signed. We're very happy with Kevin and all the attributes he brings to this organization and we're pleased to sign another young, ascending player to a contract. It's something that this organization has prioritized over the last several years," said team president Joe Banner.