When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted quarterback Nick Foles in the third round of this past year’s NFL draft, it looked as if Andy Reid was already looking to draft Mike Vick’s replacement. Foles has played remarkably well so far this preseason, passing for seven touchdowns to just one interception in three preseason games. That’s precisely why Foles is the quarterback of the future in Philly.
Foles is everything Reid likes in a quarterback in that he’s big, strong-armed and athletic and can make a throw from anywhere on the field. He does lack the scrambling ability many of Reid’s past quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, Jeff Garcia and Vick) have possessed in the past, but Foles is also extremely poised in the pocket and much farther along than a typical third-round quarterback.
Vick has been erratic, inconsistent and injury-prone in his three seasons with the Eagles, and he’s dealt with what almost seems to be an annual rib problem. Vick has thrown just seven passes thus far in training camp but he’s already suffered two injuries and he’s officially out for the last preseason game. Vick is entering just year two of a six-year, $100 million deal he signed with the team after his breakout 2010 campaign, but NFL contracts are in no way guaranteed, and the Eagles had to know he wouldn’t play it out.
Vick is slated to earn $12.5 million in base salary in 2012 plus a $1.4 signing bonus that puts him at $13.9 million against the cap. In 2013, those figures are up to $15.5 million and $1.4 million, counting for $16.9 million against the cap, and by 2014, Vick will cost the Eagles nearly $20 million. That’s simply too much money for a quarterback who is already 32 and will be 34 by the time he’s set to earn $20 million. Vick has also averaged just 12 games per season since he’s been signed by the Eagles, and expecting him to play all 16 this year is unrealistic.
It’s been heavily debated as to whether the Eagles can win a Super Bowl with Vick, but if they don’t win it all this year, there has to be a good chance Reid parts ways with Vick and goes with Foles as his starter in 2013. The offense is stacked with playmakers like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek, and the offensive line—assuming Jason Peters returns at full strength after his Achilles injury—is loaded with guys that block for the run and the pass.
That signals a team that’s in the market for a young, talented quarterback rather than an old, broken-down one, and considering that young and talented quarterback is already here, it looks like the torch is about to be passed.