June 3rd is a big day for the NFL labor dispute. The 8th circuit court will hear arguments from both sides and a ruling should be made shortly afterward. It seems as though that ruling may not end the lockout or force either party back to the negotiating table. If the court rules in favor of the players, the owners may appeal again or worse, there is a rumor that they could dismantle the league. If the court rules in favor of the owners, which seems likely, the players could appeal and they will probably hold out to see what the outcome of a separate ruling for $707 million in a breach of contract trial is. If the players win that suit then they could hold out for much longer and it seems as though the judge will rule in favor of the players.
With all of this going on and the lockout now going into summer without any negotiations heating up, the chance of not having a 2011 NFL season is increasing with every passing day. There are back up plans and the NFL has smartly structured the 2011 schedule to be able to miss two weeks of the season and still play all 16 games. The impact is mostly on the fans at this point. Most NFL fans would be looking to see who was released today and who is now available to solidify their rosters. Then the talk of training camp would begin culminating with the NFL preseason. Not this year, at least not at this time.
The delay of a resolution to the labor dispute has affected the Eagles like no other team. The Eagles had an opportunity to move Kevin Kolb for a very high first round pick in April’s draft but were unable to do so because of the lockout. They still have the ability to move him for picks in 2012, but the lockout still looms. Kolb wants to be traded and he wants to go to a team that will give him an opportunity to be a starter. The Eagles wanted to move him because of his value. Both may not get what they want in the end. If the labor dispute goes deep into summer, Kolb will remain with the Eagles.
It just makes sense to keep Kolb on the roster if this dispute is not settled soon. Kolb provides the Eagles with an experienced backup that is priceless with Michael Vick’s style of play. The Eagles would not want to move him if they had 2-3 weeks to prepare for a season. There is just simply not enough time to bring in a backup to learn the system or work with the current players to be comfortable enough to say this guy could be a long term starter if Vick were to go down with a serious injury. Kolb gives Andy Reid and the Eagles that comfort level and he is under contract for not a whole lot of money in 2011.
Kolb would not have enough time to get to a new team and learn their offense to start week 1. It takes a lot of time and preparation to be an NFL starting quarterback. He would have to learn the terminology, the playbook and build a comfort level with the players. A couple of weeks are not enough time to do that.
The down side to this is the Eagles could lose Kolb after the 2011 season and get nothing in return. The good news is if Vick goes down, the Eagles would have a guy that could step in and start. Who knows, with what happened last season, Kolb could ultimately win his old job back and all of this could be a blessing in disguise. These are all what if scenarios and speculation, but what we do know is the longer this thing drags on the more likely it is that Kevin Kolb won’t get his wish of starting in 2011. After that, who knows, it could all work out in the end for the Birds and Kevin Kolb.