Seahawks not playing down their interest in Kevin Kolb

By Don Banks

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• From my vantage point I couldn’t quite see whether Pete Carroll wore a cat-ate-the-canary look on his face when he heard the question. But when a Philadelphia-based reporter inquired whether his Seahawks have had conversations with the Eagles regarding a trade for quarterback Kevin Kolb, you could almost hear Carroll’s brain whirling as he very carefully chose his words.

“There’s no conversations going on,” said Carroll, perhaps notably dropping into present tense. “Not what you want. I talk to [Eagles head coach] Andy [Reid] a lot. I like Andy a lot.”

And my sense is Carroll likes Kolb a lot, too. According to SI’s Peter King, the Eagles reportedly have already been offered a first-round pick by one interested team, and Seattle is certainly among the leading suspects. The Seahawks tried trading for an unproven quarterback of the future last offseason with the Charlie Whitehurst deal, and given the move wasn’t exactly a smashing success, it stands to reason they have Kolb in their sights. Especially if they don’t wind up having to surrender 2011 draft picks for him, but instead get to pay the bill for the move in 2012, should the lockout linger past draft day.

“It’s good that people think that,” Carroll said, of the rumors linking No. 25 Seattle to Kolb. “Because every opportunity that’s available, we investigate. We want to [take] every opportunity, and that’s one that’s been out there. They’ve said he’s a guy they would possibly move. So those kind of discussions, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, we’re trying to be privy to all of it. We just want to know what’s going on.”

Not exactly a flat denial of interest, wouldn’t you say? Especially when Carroll followed that up by extolling the attractiveness of trading for a young veteran whose limited playing experience came in Philadelphia.

“Anybody who comes through Andy’s program has been through a great system, with great coaching and leadership and direction and all of that,” Carroll said. “And that adds to the value of the player, rather than [getting] a guy who’s coming fresh out of college.”

Seattle is likely to have competition for Kolb, of course. Minnesota, Arizona, San Francisco and Tennessee all make some sense. But for now, I’m leaving my buck on the Seahawks and Carroll being the most aggressive pursuer. Making the bold move has certainly been Carroll’s track record during his brief Seattle tenure.