3 Reasons Michael Vick Must Stay in Philadelphia
Just about everything we're hearing coming out of Philly indicates the Eagles plan on letting him go to save cap space, but that may not be the best course of action for Vick and for this franchise.
Vick wasn't the problem in 2012.
The entire organization suffered from a sickness that can only be cured by an all-out purge of the current Andy Reid-led regime. With new blood comes a new hope, and Vick can be a vital piece of the rebuilding puzzle.
Here are three reasons why Vick needs to stay in Philadelphia next year.
Chemistry with Current Wide Receivers
When the Eagles offense is rolling, there isn't a more perfect combination than Vick and his two main targets in the passing game—DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
These players were made to play together.
Jackson and Maclin are both smaller, speedy receivers who can beat coverage deep as well as make some extraordinary plays after the catch on routes underneath coverage—a set of talents that fits right in Vick's wheelhouse.
Barring this season, the two receivers flourished under Vick's leadership and unique skills.
Jackson averaged 22.5 yards per reception in Vick's first year as a starter, catching six touchdowns in the process. He didn't have as much success in 2011, but that may have been due to the fact that he was pouting when the Eagles wouldn't give him the contract he wanted.
Maclin has caught 20 touchdowns in the past three seasons, 10 of which came in 2010.
Both receivers excel when plays break down and defenders have to try and keep track of them while Vick is on the run.
It's a marriage made in heaven, but the offense has recently plunged into hell, thanks to a terrible lack of production from the offensive line. This is a fixable problem, though, and if the offensive line can improve, Vick will be just as deadly as ever.
Lack of Quarterback Talent in Free Agency and the Draft
The Eagles may like Nick Foles, but is he really ready to become the team's full-time starter in 2013? Furthermore, if Foles were to get hurt, who could possibly step in and take his place if Vick was no longer with the team?
This year's draft class is remarkably thin on talent at the quarterback position.
Geno Smith will be gone by the time the Eagles pick in the first round, and I don't see the team reaching for Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson. There are always hidden gems to be found, but do the Eagles really want to gamble they'll find one in the latter rounds?
There isn't any help in free agency, either. Jason Campbell, Matt Moore and Tarvaris Jackson aren't going to be leading this team to the promised land any time soon.
Sure, Vick's $15.5 million base salary is a bit gaudy, especially considering how he/the offense has performed of late, but the Eagles don't have many other options.
The Chip Kelly Factor
There's a rumor swirling that Kelly may be considering a career change in 2013, and many have speculated that he'd be the perfect man to take over for Andy Reid.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane:
The rumors connecting the 49-year-old to the Eagles have been out there for some time, but they're growing in intensity with four games left until Reid's expected end...it's become almost a stated fact the Eagles will aggressively pursue Kelly once Reid is fired.
And they should.
Kelly's spread offense fits the personnel of the Eagles to perfection—minus an offensive lineman or three.
Jackson and Maclin are perfect for his breakneck-speed offense, and so are LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown.
Vick wouldn't be such a bad option, either, and according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:
The sources close to Vick said he might wait to see if Oregon coach Chip Kelly decides to take an NFL coaching job in the offseason, adding that Vick already has imagined himself playing in Kelly's fast-paced spread offense.
Should Vick stay or should he go?
Vick would be a perfect fit for Kelly's offense, and I can only imagine the kind of havoc they'd wreak together with the weapons already assembled.
Kelly's innovative offense could take the NFL by storm, and Vick needs to stick around in Philly to be the trigger man.
As bad as things have been in 2012 for Vick and the Eagles, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that 2013 could be a year to remember.
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