By Mark Gaughan
The Buffalo Bills added a viable starting option to their quarterback roster Saturday night by reaching a contract agreement with free-agent Kevin Kolb.
The full terms of a two-year deal with the 28-year-old, five-year NFL veteran were approved by both sides about 9 p.m., a league source told The Buffalo News. ESPN reported eariler this evening that a deal was going to happen.
The deal is expected to be worth a maximum value of about $13 million, which makes Kolb the clear favorite over incumbent seven-year veteran Tarvaris Jackson in the Bills’ QB competition. Jackson signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal last month.
The Bills still are expected to take a quarterback in the NFL Draft and give the rookie a chance to win the starting job. However, with Kolb on board, the urgency to rush a rookie onto the field decreases.
Kolb was released by the Cardinals earlier this month under circumstances similar to those that prompted Fitzpatrick’s departure from the Bills. Kolb was cut loose just before Arizona was due to pay him a $2 million bonus.
A 2007 second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kolb signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Cardinals in July 2011, of which $12 million was guaranteed.
Kolb played in just 15 games with the Cardinals over two years, going 255 of 436 for 3,124 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Playing behind a porous offensive line, he was sacked 57 times.
Kolb has a 9-12 record as a starting NFL quarterback. Jackson owns a 17-17 record as a starter. Injuries have been more of a problem than performance for Kolb. He directed Arizona to a 4-0 start last season.
But he played in only five games, getting knocked out for the year in Arizona's Week Six loss to the Buffalo Bills due to detached ribs and a sprained shoulder. Kolb suffered a serious concussion that caused him to miss the last three games of the 2011 season. He missed two games in the 2010 season due to a concussion, as well. He played nine total games in 2011 and five in 2010.