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Point/counterpoint: Who is the best NFL player likely to be on the move?

BY DI STAFF | JULY 27, 2011 7:20 AM

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Kevin Kolb, quarterback

Although he is not a free agent, Eagle quarterback Kevin Kolb will easily be the top player on the move this summer. Kolb, who was drafted as the heir apparent to Donovan McNabb, entered last season as the starter in Philadelphia before a concussion in Week 1 opened the door for Michael Vick to become last year's feel-good story.

Kolb regained the starting spot in Week 4 after an injury forced Vick to miss the Eagle's next three games. He played superbly and showed he is fully capable of being a solid starter.

Once Vick was able to return, though, Kolb was once again forced to the bench until coach Andy Reid rested his regular starters during the final game of the season.

Kolb needs to start, and he has several potential landing spots.

He could be traded to the Arizona Cardinals, where he would paired with superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Because Fitzgerald becomes a free agent after this season, Arizona needs to bring in a solid quarterback if it wants to keep him in Glendale — especially after the Cardinals looked to "quarterbacks" Derek Anderson and Max Hall to run the offense in 2010, a choice that spawned a 5-11 campaign.

Another possible suitor could be Seattle, where Kolb would replace the recently departed Matt Hasselbeck. Kolb could also land in Carolina, where he would battle with Heisman Trophy-winner and No. 1-overall draft pick Cam Newton for the Panthers' starting spot.

Additionally, Kolb wears No. 4 for the Eagles. Should Philly send him on his merry way, it would open the door for another famous No. 4 to come out of retirement.

That's right, he's coming back — Steve Walsh.

What, did you think it would be Brett Favre? No way.

— by Cody Gredell

Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback

Anybody who can become the best in the NFL at his position while playing for the Raiders should instantly become coveted by the rest of the league.

In 2006, Nnamdi Asomugha's eight interceptions forced football fans to take notice of the blossoming cornerback.

Since that eight-interception season, Asomugha has only had three interceptions in four seasons combined. That could cause the casual fan to think he was simply a one-year wonder, but the casual fan would be wrong.

The former California Bear has been to been elected to five-straight Pro Bowls and is the most feared corner in the league.

After his breakout year in 2006, quarterbacks have avoided Asomugha at all costs. Since that year, he has not allowed more than 13 completions in a season, and he didn't give up a touchdown at all in 2010.

Several teams have been rumored to be interested, most notably the Cowboys, Eagles, Lions, and Jets.

Having just turned 30 years old, Asomugha should know this is his last shot at a big payday.

While there is no arguing he is one of the top defenders in the NFL, some question his value considering the high dollar amount he will command.

That shouldn't matter, as long as he finds the right fit.

He will completely shut down one side of the field, but he needs protection on the other side in order to be completely effective.

Teams only need to look back to this year's Super Bowl to see the value of having numerous shutdown DBs. The Green Bay Packers' stacked defensive backfield of Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, and Sam Shields made huge plays while shutting down potent passing attacks.

Even if you can't pronounce his name correctly (NAM-dee AWH-sum-WAH), you'll be smiling for years to come if your team snaps him up.

— by Kyle Hughes

Santonio Holmes, wide receiver

The NFL lockout is finally over. Now that teams can start configuring their rosters again, the most valuable free agent available is wide receiver Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets.

Holmes was a Super Bowl MVP with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and signing him makes almost any team a Super Bowl contender. Holmes has plenty of experience after stints with Pittsburgh and New York and went to the postseason with both teams.

He is also only 27 and is therefore just now entering his prime.

From a statistical standpoint, he has 287 receptions for 4,581 yards, 26 career touchdowns, and an average of 16.0 yards per catch. Those aren't exactly Hall of Fame-caliber numbers, but numbers don't show his entire worth.

Holmes is a great guy to have in the locker room. He hasn't always been a model citizen — he has admitted to selling drugs as a teenager and has run into other legal trouble over the course of his career — but he appears to have learned from his mistakes. After he returned from a suspension last season, he became an integral and versatile part of the Jets' offense.

He can be a primary receiver or play in the slot. He also returns punts, and has a career average of 8.1 yards per return. His extraordinary work ethic will also be beneficiary for any young receivers on the team.

He has never been seriously injured and has turned that physical toughness into 72 appearances in five regular seasons. In seven playoff games, he has 25 receptions for 402 yards and five touchdowns. He averages 16.1 yards per catch in the postseason, showing he has a lot of big-play ability.

Holmes has played with a great quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) and an average one (Mark Sanchez), but he had similar success with both of them. This adaptability further shows that adding Holmes to any team will put it over the top.

— by Sam Odeyemi


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