Eagles trade Kevin Kolb to Cardinals

Kevin Kolb is a No. 1 quarterback again.

The Philadelphia Eagles have traded Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick in 2012.

Kolb began last season as the heir-apparent to Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, but he went down with a concussion in the opener, losing his job to Michael Vick in the process. The Cardinals have been looking for an answer at quarterback since Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season.

The deal was highly anticipated for several months during the NFL lockout. The Eagles announced it in a text message Thursday afternoon.

Kolb, who turns 27 next month, reportedly will sign a $63 million, five-year contract with the Cardinals.

Rodgers-Cromartie, who went to the Pro Bowl in 2009, will play opposite four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. The Eagles struggled against the pass last year, allowing a franchise-record 31 touchdowns in the air. They used several players at right cornerback after trading longtime starter Sheldon Brown to Cleveland. Ellis Hobbs began the season as the starter before sustaining a career-threatening injury. Dimitri Patterson, Joselio Hanson and Trevard Lindley also filled in after Hobbs went down.

Kolb, a second-round draft pick out of the University of Houston in 2007, started just seven games in four seasons with the Eagles. He became the first QB in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts when he filled in for an injured McNabb in Weeks 2 and 3 in 2009. The Eagles traded McNabb to Washington in April 2010, paving the way for Kolb to become the starter.

But Kolb was injured in the first half of the opener against Green Bay and Vick played so well that he remained the starter. Kolb completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,082 yards and 11 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. He was outstanding filling in for an injured Vick last October, completing 23 of 29 passes for 326 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in a victory over Atlanta.

When Warner retired after leading Arizona to a Super Bowl and consecutive NFC West titles, the Cardinals wound up with erratic Derek Anderson at quarterback. Eventually, he was benched in favor of undrafted rookie Max Hall, who after some disastrous play was replaced by another rookie, first-round draft pick John Skelton. Anderson is expected to be released.

Besides needing far better play at quarterback, Arizona needed to show wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald it was serious about bringing in someone who could get him the ball. Fitzgerald is in the last year of his contract and re-signing with the Cardinals could hinge on how the team improves offensively this season. Kolb already has lost potentially one of his best receivers in free agent Steve Breaston, who is not re-signing with Arizona and reportedly is headed for Kansas City.