With Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid naming rookie Nick Foles the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season, the writing may be on the wall for Michael Vick’s future in Philadelphia. Vick’s concussion in Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys , and the fact he has not yet been cleared to practice, opened the door for the Eagles to look to the future and an eight-game losing streak has expedited that process. Reid is likely to be fired after the season, and a new coach may want the opportunity to work with Foles as the Eagles’ starting quarterback in 2013 and beyond.
There is also a significant financial aspect to Vick’s situation with the Eagles, as he due to make $15.5 million next season and has at least three more years remaining on the six-year, $100 million ($32.5 million guaranteed) deal he signed with Philadelphia in August of 2011. Adding this season’s injury to his poor play even when healthy, Vick is virtually certain to be released after the Super Bowl barring something unforeseen. Name recognition alone stands to make him a popular free agent target for a lot of teams that need to bolster their quarterback situation, assuming he is indeed available.
The Minnesota Vikings clearly have some questions at quarterback with second-year man Christian Ponder regressing since early in the season and no proven backup behind him. Depending on how Ponder plays over the final four games of the season, Minnesota may have no choice but to go another direction under center and at least bring in some competition for him.
Vick will turn 33 prior to the start of next season and he has not played all 16 games in a season since 2006, which was his final season with the Atlanta Falcons. Obviously Vick’s situation is unique since he missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons while serving prison time due to his involvement in a dog fighting operation, but 2006 stands alone as the only of his 10 NFL seasons where he has played a full 16-game slate.
The possibility of Vick and running back Adrian Peterson in the same backfield certainly would have thoughts of big plays dancing in the heads of Vikings’ fans, but I’m not convinced that Vick is a major upgrade over Ponder as a passer. The one area where Vick has a theoretical advantage over Ponder is athleticism and running ability, but at his age the big-play dynamic he offers as a runner could erode even more than it already has over the last couple years.
The Vikings need to be open to the idea of bringing in another quarterback heading into 2013 at this point, via the draft or free agency, but I don’t think Vick is the best option that is likely to be available.