Last season the Arizona Cardinals had a decision on their hands over what to do with quarterback Kevin Kolb. That same decision faces the Cardinals again in 2013, but the price and circumstances are very, very different. In 2012, the Cardinals had to decide whether or not to pick up Kolb’s $7 million roster bonus which lead to a $1 million base salary for the season.
This year, the Cardinals need to decide whether or not to pick up Kolb’s $2 million roster bonus which will lead to a $9 million base salary for the 2013 season with a $500,000 kicker as a workout bonus.
The decision is hard for all the wrong reasons, as the Cardinals don’t want to pay Kolb as much as he’s owed, but they don’t have a better option on their roster at the moment. The thought is that the Cardinals will look at a quarterback in this April’s draft, and if they pull the trigger on one high enough, they could enter the 2013 season with a rookie under center.
That’s good news for the future of the team, bad news for their pocket book as picking up Kolb’s contract means a $9.5 million hole in their pocket if he sits on the bench another year. But while the $9.5 million is a looming number, it’s not set in stone as the Cardinals will be able to decide later on in the offseason whether or not they want to cut Kolb or keep him.
But in order to have the right to extend the decision making time, the Cardinals must ironically make a decision now on whether or not to pay out the $2 million to Kolb. The logical conclusion is that the Cardinals pay Kolb his $2 million and then restructure his deal later on in the offseason, accounting for the money they’ve paid him.
The culture in Arizona is changing, but the hard decisions seem to never go away.