The Cardinals released quarterback Kevin Kolb Friday.
The day Kevin Kolb arrived in Arizona, he acknowledged he had a "responsibility" that came with the price the Cardinals paid to get the quarterback in trade – cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a second-round pick and a new contract.
"There is always pressure to perform, and perform great," Kolb said then. "As a quarterback in the National Football League, you better put it on yourself … it's nothing new for me."
The pressure never dissipated and Kolb was never able to stay healthy enough. The team did talk to him about a restructured deal, but the two sides couldn't work it out. So Friday, with a $2 million bonus looming, the Cards followed through on what seemed inevitable and released Kolb after just two seasons.
Adam Caplan did report the team has left the door open for Kolb's return, however.
The team gets $7.5 million of salary cap relief with the move.
Kolb's bulky contract – he was also due a $9 million salary for 2013 – made the status quo impossible for the Cards to live with, especially after Kolb's two injury-plagued seasons. Once the team signed free agent quarterback Drew Stanton to a three-year contract Wednesday for $8.2 million, Kolb's release was likely given the tender offer already extended to restricted free agent Brian Hoyer.
The Cardinals still have John Skelton and Ryan Lindley under contract, and will draft a quarterback at some point as well. Kolb should have suitors, but it's questionable whether he can get a chance at winning a starting job elsewhere.
The final Kolb tally: Over 15 games, he completed 255-of-436 passes for 3,124 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His passing rating was 83.2 and he collected $20.5 million on his contract.
He struggled so much in the 2012 preseason John Skelton was named the starter for the opener. But Skelton's ankle injury opened the door for a storybook game-winning drive by Kolb, and when he then started and won the next three games for a 4-0 record his luck seemed to change.
Then the Cards lost in St. Louis and then Kolb suffered a bad rib injury late in what turned out to be an overtime loss to Buffalo. Kolb didn't play again, and the Cardinals lost 11 of their last 12 games.
"(My status) has been a hot topic for about three offseasons in a row now, so hopefully we will have some conversations," Kolb said the day he was placed on injured reserve in December. "I made a commitment to this team, I want to be around a long time (and) I'd like to do big things here."
That didn't work out. The Cardinals now turn in a different direction.