2012 a make-or-break year for Kevin Kolb

Despite the contrary, John Skelton should be the least of Kevin Kolb’s worries in training camp this year.

Because if Skelton passes him on the Cardinals’ depth chart, it’ll already be too late for Kolb to save his career in the desert.

The 27-year-old Kolb is entering a make-or-break year in Arizona. The Cardinals signed him to a six-year, $65 million contract after acquiring him from the Eagles last July but the deal only contains $12 million in guaranteed money so it’s not as if Ken Whisenhunt has a financial obligation to start Kolb in Week 1. Twelve million is nothing to sneeze at but when you look at some of the other guaranteed money that has been given to quarterbacks, Kolb’s deal pails in comparison. (For example, Peyton Manning received $18 million in guaranteed money from the Broncos and he didn’t even take a snap last season.)

Kolb played in just nine games last year and when he was healthy, he wasn’t very good. He completed just 57.7-percent of his passes and while he did throw for nine touchdowns, defenses also picked him off eight times. He somehow lost seven fumbles as well, which is almost impossible when you spend half the season on the sidelines nursing injuries.

Although he seemingly has all the tools to succeed as a starter in the NFL, Kolb has only flashed brief moments of brilliance. There was that 326-yard, three-touchdown performance against Atlanta in 2010 that got everyone all hot and bothered, and there was also that 247-yard, one-touchdown game against the Cowboys in December of last year (a 19-13 overtime win for the Cardinals). But thanks to injuries and uneven play, Kolb has never put it all together.

Considering he compiled a 68.9 QB rating in eight games last season, one would assume that Skelton isn’t a threat to Kolb’s job. But through the use of witchcraft and magic, they went 5-2 with him under center.

Winning is the only thing that matters in the NFL and if Kolb can’t prove that he’s a winner, he might be starring at a career as a backup. There will always be a team willing to take a shot on a quarterback that had so much potential coming into the league but what has Kolb done to prove that he’s a starter capable of winning six games, nevertheless 10? Granted, his offensive line has to be significantly better in pass protection than they were a year ago but with weapons like Larry Fitzgerald, “Beanie” Wells and rookie Michael Floyd, Kolb doesn’t have any excuses not to succeed.

It’s now or never for the former Houston product.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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