Should the Philadelphia Eagles Release Michael Vick?

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IFebruary 5, 2013

Dec 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) prior to the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles can't go into another regular season with Michael Vick as their starting quarterback, can they?

Well, with the read-option-minded Chip Kelly as the team's new head coach, the fit is obvious, so the idea has at least been entertained. 

However, ESPN's John Clayton predicted quite the opposite on a radio spot with Mike & Mike in the Morning:

“It doesn’t sound like they’re going to try to renegotiate his contract and if that’s going to be the case he’ll be released,” said Clayton.  ”Now that doesn’t close the door for him trying to re-sign, but there’s no way they’re going to guarantee him $45.5 million over the next three years. 

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote the following about the timing of when the Eagles need to make a decision on the 32-year-old signal-caller:

The Eagles quarterback is due to receive that amount on Feb. 6, but the team is likely to buy time until the start of free agency on March 11 because of a provision in Vick's contract. The Eagles would owe him the money only if no one else picked him up or if someone signed him for less than $3 million, according to an NFL source.

So, should Philly release Vick? 

Unequivocally, yes. 

Vick is due $15.5 million in base salary next season, and he represents a $16.9 million cap hit. 

He is one of the quarterbacks who doesn't belong in the below chart:

Name 2013 Cap Hit 2013 Base Salary
Tom Brady $21.8 million $9.75 million
Matthew Stafford $21.227 million $12 million
Eli Manning  $20.85 million $13 million
Peyton Manning $20 million $20 million
Ben Roethlisberger $19.595 million $11.6 million
Drew Brees $17.4 million $9.75 million
Tony Romo $17.228 million $11.5 million
Philip Rivers $17.110 million $12 million
Michael Vick $16.9 million $15.5 million
Carson Palmer $16.891 million $13 million
Matt Ryan  $10 million $10 million

The only way the Eagles should consider hanging onto Vick is if he takes a massive pay cut by means of contractual restructuring. 

Right now, it's hard to speculate as to how much of a pay decrease Vick would be willing to take, but one could assume with Kelly at the helm, the scramble-happy quarterback would take far less money for one last opportunity to resurrect his career. 

Regardless of Vick's willingness, enough is enough. 

Andy Reid kicked the tires on him out of prison, and he played well in 2010 for the Eagles. But he has been a thorn in Philadelphia's side ever since. 

Year Games Played Completion Percentage Touchdown Passes Interceptions
2010 12 62.6 percent 21 6
2011 13 59.8 percent 18 14
2012 10 58.1 percent 12 10

Vick could flourish as the run-option quarterback in Kelly's innovative offensive system. But he has struggled with injuries recently, missing 13 games in the last three seasons, is a turnover machine, and he is in the twilight of his career. 

Barring a major financial restructuring, the Eagles must cut ties with Vick and move on at the quarterback position. 

It's that simple.