Given the financial commitments the Philadelphia Eagles had to quarterback Michael Vick, it was widely thought that the veteran QB would not return for a fifth season in Philly. But the Eagles surprised many today, announcing that they have restructured Vick’s current deal to give him a minimum of one more season with the Eagles.
Although the terms of the restructured deal have not been made public, reports by those informed on the contract have told USA Today that the deal has two voidable years on the back end beyond the 2013 season, meaning basically it will serve as a one-year contract.
Since joining the Eagles in 2009, Vick’s performance has ranged from stellar, to spotty, to even downright poor at times. His ongoing problems with injuries–concussions in particular–have been a cause for concern with the Eagles, even causing former head coach Andy Reid to leave Vick on the bench towards the end of the 2012 season even after his symptoms of concussion had reportedly subsided.
The lack of protection by the Eagles offensive line has been caused Vick to look like he was bouncing inside a pinball machine at times, coupled with his propensity for breaking out of the pocket to improvise and leaving linemen wondering which way he’ll turn next. With all of the extra pressure and hits have come the turnovers – five fumbles and 10 interceptions in only 10 starts in 2012.
Newly hired Eagles head coach Chip Kelly runs a much different offense than did Reid, and it’s possible that the spread formations, moving pockets, and designed quarterback running plays might bring Vick back to the form that won him the starting job in Philly during the 2010 season.
Given Vick’s age (nearly 33) and the punishment that his body has taken during his four seasons with the Eagles, it might be a stretch to think that he still has the elusiveness and speed that will be needed to successfully manage a Chip Kelly offense. Vick has never been known to be as speedy on the learning curve as he is on the ground, and Kelly’s playbook as multiple complex formations, and relies heavily on a quarterback that can quickly make reads…something that has never been Vick’s strong suit.
Nick Foles, who stepped in for Vick during the second half of the 2012 season, is a young, teachable quarterback and may end up in a battle with Vick for the starting job regardless of the money that Vick is to be paid.
This may end up being a last shot for Vick, both with the Eagles and for his career as a starting quarterback. If Vick isn’t able to master the offense that Kelly wants to run, he’ll be hard-pressed to find another team willing to take a chance on a 33-year old quarterback with accuracy issues and a history of debilitating injuries.
Except, of course, the New York Jets.
At least then Vick wouldn’t have to change the color of the scarf and cap he wears on the sidelines while injured.