As unlikely as it may seem, Kevin Kolb could show up for Eagles training camp on Wednesday.

He is under contract and thus required to be at Lehigh University.

How uncomfortable would that be?

The Eagles made it no secret that they were prepared to trade Kolb, and speculation around the NFL had the backup quarterback being dealt sometime Tuesday when teams were first permitted to make trades.

But when the end of the day arrived, Kolb was still an Eagle, and the team's options for dealing the 26-year-old appeared to be dwindling. In fact, the Arizona Cardinals looked like the only team left that could make a suitable trade partner.

And the Cardinals reportedly are interested in other quarterbacks - one they could trade for (Denver's Kyle Orton) and one they could sign as a free agent (Baltimore's Marc Bulger).

The Eagles, on the other hand, lost a potential partner when the Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms with Tarvaris Jackson. A free agent formerly with Minnesota, Jackson is expected to compete with Charlie Whitehurst and maybe Matt Leinert, if Seattle also signs him, for the starting job.

So the Seahawks dropped out of the Kolb sweepstakes and the Eagles' leverage in acquiring equal value in a trade with the Cardinals appeared to be slipping. Perhaps Seattle realized it could not satisfy the Eagles' needs and moved on.

The Seahawks reportedly offered draft picks for Kolb last off-season, but Jackson's value is considered much lower.

The question, then, is: Did the Eagles price themselves out of a deal with Seattle and maybe even a trade with the Cardinals? The deal with Arizona that was first broached as far back as the draft had the teams swapping Kolb for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Eagles wanted to sweeten the pot and get a 2012 draft pick in return.

An NFL Network report has the Eagles now wanting a first-round pick.

Although the Eagles may have lost some leverage, league sources insisted that something was still bound to get done, probably with the Cardinals. It could just come down to a game of chicken between the two teams.

Kolb has made it no secret that he wants to move on, and Eagles coach Andy Reid has told the Texan that he will do his best to honor his wishes.

"We've been texting periodically," Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said of Kolb. "His spirits are high and he's excited about his opportunities right now - whether he's with another team or back in Philly. We'll see how it all plays out, but we're rooting for him."

A Kolb deal was expected to be the first domino to fall in the Eagles' free-agency plan. If they were to get Rodgers-Cromartie in return, they wouldn't have to worry about their need at right cornerback. If the deal falls through, then a number of cornerbacks could be in play.

Despite the fact that teams were able to start negotiating with free agents, only a few deals in principle were reported Tuesday. Big-name cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Johnathan Joseph were still available.

The defensive-end market lost perhaps the best piece when Charles Johnson re-signed with the Panthers. He was expected to stay in Carolina, but the mammoth salary he received - a reported six years for $72 million - could set the bar for the rest of the field.

The Eagles have interest in Ray Edwards, but the Minnesota defensive end could be looking to cash in. He also could be the big free-agent plunge the Eagles have been hinting at. They've made such a statement before with cornerback Asante Samuel and end Jevon Kearse.

But the Eagles have other holes to fill. They won't pursue any of their free agents, so that means middle linebacker Stewart Bradley isn't likely to come back unless he can't find a team and returns for much less pay.

No Bradley means no veteran presence at linebacker, so maybe the Eagles will pursue free agents at that position. Tennessee's Stephen Tulloch is an inside linebacker option. The Packers released Nick Barnett.

The Eagles could go in a number of directions in free agency. Arguments could be made that they need a defensive tackle, a safety, a running back, and maybe another offensive lineman.

It remains to be seen whether they will need a new backup QB.

Maybe the Eagles don't need one. Maybe Kolb stays.

"I wouldn't be surprised at all," Vick said.