Stop the presses. Michael Vick has signed a two-year deal
with the Eagles. I’m sure that you’re just as surprised as I am to hear the
news. Philadelphia is not typically a franchise to bring in players of
questionable character, especially after the whole Terrell Owens fiasco. However,
I think we all know that Vick needed a stable environment that is led by strong
ownership, a coach who holds his players accountable, and teammates who will
keep him in line. That’s why Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and New England were
constantly being referred to as likely destinations. Philadelphia fits that
bill just as well as any of the above teams with Jeffrey Lurie running the show
and Andy Reid pacing the sidelines.
I’ve already read from plenty of people that a quarterback
controversy will start brewing in the City of Brotherly Love. How quickly
people forget that Vick, despite being reinstated, can still be suspended for
up to six games this year and on top of that, the Eagles gave Donovan McNabb a
$30 million raise in the offseason. In my opinion, Vick has never been that
great of a quarterback anyway. He was an amazing athlete and almost untouchable
when he took off with the ball, but the guy has never thrown for more than 3000
yards in a season and his best QB rating in a single season was 81.6 in 2004.
Vick has been out of football for two full years now and the
fact that he will have to learn a completely new offense without attending
training camp is going to be very tough. In all honesty, this move is more
likely aimed toward 2010. At that point, Vick will have had time to thoroughly
learn the offense, the coaching staff will know what he can do and be able to
scheme with him, and he will surely be the number two quarterback.
Interestingly, Kevin Kolb’s rookie contract is finished after 2009, so this
might put a little fire under his backside to perform when given an
I think that Vick will come into Philadelphia and get to
work very quickly in order to make some sort of contribution as soon as he is
able to, but that still only means he will be on the field about 5-10 plays per
game this season. However, imagine McNabb, Vick, Brian Westbrook/LeSean McCoy,
DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin on the field at the same time. Just a couple
of years ago the team was criticized for not having enough playmakers on
offense. Now they are loaded.
Vick’s deal does not give him any guaranteed money, but
gives him just over $1 million in 2009 and he has an option for the second year
for over $5 million. In other words, the Eagles said “here is just over the
league minimum and if you can keep it together and earn a second year on the
field, we will pay you accordingly.” All in all, it was a very smart football
move for the Eagles both on the field and in the accountant’s office.
I doubt that Vick will have a huge fantasy impact this
season. If anything, he might take a passing touchdown or two away from Donovan
McNabb, but it is not enough to hurt McNabb’s draft value. This signing
completely opens the field up for the Eagles if the coaching staff can draw up
the right plays but until we all see what Vick can do on the football field
after being off of it for so long, it is far too early to be projecting any
numbers. Keep an eye on Philadelphia as the media circus dissipates after
awhile to see if Michael in 2009 still has what 2001’s number one overall pick
had when he was wowing crowds everywhere.