Big news coming out of Philly camp, just as Chip Kelly was going to formally announce his coaching staff, Michael Vick and the Eagles negotiated a new contract to replace the (not really) $100 million contract that was already in place. As for the specifics of the contract, reports say it’s three years in length, although the last two years of the deal will be voided on March 15 (which would be three days after the start of the NFL calendar). Vick can earn up to $10 million this season if he meets all of the performance bonuses.
The headline for the Philadelphia Eagles though is that Michael Vick is returning to compete for a starting job, meaning we can still see a brand new quarterback under center when September comes.
So what does this mean for the Eagles? Well for one, as Philadelphia Inquirer writer Jeff McLane questioned on Twitter, Michael Vick’s contract is now a bit more valuable as a trade chip. Coach Chip Kelly mentioned during the press conference that he hasn’t ruled out anything in terms of trading either quarterback. Though he hopes he has both, there’s a possibility that Vick can still be traded away.
Now obviously there are doubters and supporters to every single decision that’s been made this offseason. The doubters will point to Michael Vick’s age and claim he’ll probably be too old to run Kelly’s offense. The supports will point to Vick’s foot speed and willingness to take off as reason why he’d be perfect for Kelly’s offense. What we need to realize is today is February 11th. We have NO idea what kind of offense Kelly is going to run in the NFL level. During the press conference, Kelly claimed that he would fit “schemes” to the personnel that he is given. Free agency hasn’t even begun, so we can’t speculate on who the Eagles will be adding/dropping let alone guess what kind of offense Kelly will run. One side note about Vick’s age: Eli Manning (32, had a birthday in January) and Tony Romo (32, birthday in April) are the same age as Vick (32, birthday in June), but we don’t bring up their age nearly as much as we do Vick.
The bottom line is we knew Michael Vick wasn’t going to return to the Eagles with that “$100 million contract,” so the Eagles resigned him as maybe a one year experiment for Kelly. The move is low-risk high-reward so I applaud it. Whether or not Vick is the started for the Eagles is a question to ask around June or July but know this, Chip Kelly has a plan, and I can’t wait to find out what that plan is this offseason.
By the way, Michael Vick later on released this statement about this new contract:
“I am grateful and proud to be a Philadelphia Eagle. My heart is in Philly and this community is important to me. I look forward to playing for Coach Kelly, Jeffrey Lurie and the entire Eagles organization, the city of Philadelphia and the fans. I am training hard this offseason and will be ready for Coach Kelly’s team vision and leadership. Our goal is to win.”