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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eagles Sign Vick to Long-term Deal

Multiple reports have the Eagles announcing that they have signed quarterback Mike Vick to a 6-year $100 million contract later today.

It’s the move the Eagles had to make after they sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona. The initial numbers screamed “mistake!” to me. As I write on Tuesday night, the numbers have already come down in terms of real money though I’m still unclear on the number of years that the Eagles are now tied to Vick.

At the moment, the contract seems to be guaranteed for $40 million, which apparently means Vick is going to be the Eagles starting quarterback for the next three or four years.

With Vince Young and Mike Kafka currently the other Eagles quarterbacks, the number of years doesn’t scare me too much. The “next” franchise quarterback is not even on the roster. I think the fourth year may end up being a stretch given Vick’s style of play and the fact that he’s already 31 years old. I don’t buy the idea that his time in jail has saved his body all that much. But the Eagles do contracts that are always salary cap friendly so I have little doubt that they wouldn’t be able to cut him in the fourth year if necessary.

However, there are a number of reasons to question committing to Vick. The fact is that Mike Vick had 10 very good games last season, and that’s only discounting the first Green Bay game when he replaced the injured Kolb when the Eagles were already in comeback mode facing a prevent defense. That’s not much to go on in Vick’s “second” NFL career starting after his release from prison.

The second Green Bay game, the Eagles playoff loss, also isn’t counted because he wasn’t very good. He racked up passing yards – 292 – but the Birds were in comeback mode again. Overall, Vick had a touchdown and an interception on 20 of 36 passing.

Vick’s career playoff record is 2-3 in the playoffs. To be fair, all but one game (excluding the 2010 game in which he replaced Donovan McNabb) came very early in his career.

More concerning might be that the last 3 games in which he played last season also weren’t that good. The miracle comeback against the Giants was necessitated by the fact that the Eagles were shut down for 3 ½ quarters, and the Minnesota game was a debacle. There were plenty of people suggesting that defenses had figured out how to stop Vick.

This is the guy who is now the third highest-paid quarterback in the NFL behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and the highest paid player in Eagles franchise history, according to Comcast SportsNet’s Reuben Frank.

I’m not ripping the move. In fact, while it didn’t free up as much cap space as people were saying – reportedly Vick’s cap number only goes down $2 million from what the franchise tag contract would have been – it clears the way for the Eagles to resign DeSean Jackson by all accounts.

I’m saying it was the necessary move and it comes with plenty of risk. Give the front office tons of credit. They are, in fact, “all in” assuming that they sign Jackson.

But there’s only one way all of the headline-grabbing moves this off-season, especially re-signing Vick, will be considered a success. I’m thinking the present core of the Eagles team gets three years to win the Super Bowl, though Andy Reid should only get a maximum of two to make it happen.

In the end, I just don’t think there’s a parade coming down Broad Street in any upcoming February with Vick and Reid leading the way.

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